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close this bookHIV/AIDS and Communication for Behavioural and Social Change: Programme Experiences, Examples, and the Way Forward (UNAIDS, 2001, 68 p.)
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View the documentCase: Child Courts in Zimbabwe
View the documentCase: Sincere Community Centers in Malaysia
View the documentCase: Buddhist Principles to Cope With AIDS

Case: Sincere Community Centers in Malaysia

Pink Triangle Malaysia (PTM), a non-governmental organization, operates an innovative outreach programme targeted at intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Chow Kit, a poor red-light community in Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital city.

The use of a culturally-sensitive research protocol to assess the clients’ needs, prior to launching the programme, strongly pointed to the importance of creating an Ikhlas (“sincere”) Community Center (ICC), a “safe space” where the IDUs would feel comfortable dropping-in. The Ikhlas Community Center provides meals to IDUs, medical care and treatment, referrals to hospitals and drug treatment centers, counselling and psychological support, access to condoms and other risk-reduction services, and referrals to job placements. Clean bathroom and toilet facilities are also provided so that IDUS can bathe, wash clothes, and maintain basic hygiene.

The IDUs are involved in running the various ICC activities: They cook and clean, serve as outreach workers and volunteer counsellors, and conduct administrative tasks. Such participatory involvement helps them take “ownership” of the project, and builds their self-esteem. The IDUs of the ICC now routinely liaison with volunteer groups from hospitals, nursing schools, the corporate sector, and colleges, and thus feel more accepted by the general community. Their active involvement also makes the Pink Ikhlas programme highly cost-effective and effective.

Source: UNAIDS (1999a, p. 42).

#4. Gender Relations: With respect to the contextual domain of gender, it may be useful to understand:

· What are the roles, relationships, opportunities, and expectations of both men and women in the family, community and society?

· What may be some ways in which men and women in the community can be engaged in facilitating more equitable gender relationships?

· What are the men’s culturally-driven perceptions of family relationships, spousal relationships, child care, and others?

· What are the cultural strengths of the community which promote men as fathers, husbands, care givers, concerned heads of households, and responsible members of the community?

#5. Spirituality: With respect to the contextual domain of spirituality, it may be useful to understand:

· What are the various types/denominations of religious, spiritual, and secular organisations in the local community?

· What are the communication channels (mass, interpersonal, and group) used by religious and spiritual organisations to communicate with their audiences?

· What types of influence is wielded by local religious and spiritual leaders (including traditional healers, voodoo priests, and others) in the local communities?

· What are the mechanisms through which spiritual and religious organisations engage with governmental, private, and civil society organisations, for example, educational institutions such as Bible colleges and Islamic Madarsa Schools, and with other women, youth, and other voluntary associations?