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
nations 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
· What are the mens
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
#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