Freedom Foundation is a pioneer in the fields of Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS Interventions in India. In a time when HIV meant shame & silence, Freedom Foundation that began work in the area of de-addiction, opened doors to people infected with HIV.
The Foundation stands tall for setting up the very first HIV ‘Comprehensive Community based Care and Support center’ (CCSC) in India. This center that is located at Bangalore was recognized as a model unit by NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation) and other national & international agencies.
Headquartered at Bangalore, the Foundation today operates from 48 physical sites at various locations in the 4 states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu & Goa.
Each location has a series of interventions that link up the continuum of care with a wide spectrum of services.
Currently the Foundation is considered as the largest service delivery NGO in Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS sectors in India. Its plethora of very successful interventions includes a wide spectrum of activities on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS that address the needs of children, women, and men, especially from communities that are marginalized and suffering from disease and poverty. The Substance Abuse facilities of the Foundation attract clients from various countries all over the world.
Yet among the many firsts of the Foundation is its entry into EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) in various public and private sector companies in India. Working extensively with various trade unions and senior managements in the public sector, the Foundation successfully demonstrated EAP programmes in large public sector industries as well as the private sector.
Decades of ART (Anti-retroviral Treatment) rich experience, has led the Foundation to set up an impressive and inspiring ART facility based on a graduated cost recovery model that is equipped to make ART accessible to 4500 clients (treatment and care) at Bangalore and Hyderabad. Many, especially women and children are benefited by free ART from this project.
In line with the latest diagnostic protocols, the Foundation has developed specialized diagnostic facilities at Bangalore and Hyderabad. The umbrella of services covers an entire range of diagnostic needs for communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Various clinical and operational research initiatives also stem out of these units.
Comprehensive Community Care and support Centers (CCSCs) located across Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Goa have addressed the care and support needs of more than 35,000 PLHIVs till date . There are 10 such CCSCs with 280 beds for transitional care of adults which accounts for over 10% of the national care and support facilities bed strength.CCSCs links a large number of positive people to the Government ART centers for treatment and actively promotes uptake of free ART services. It thus compliments and strengthens the Government initiatives. The main objective of the CCSCs is to reduce morbidity, enhance health seeking behavior among positive people and in turn enhance the Quality of their life.
Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in the HIV/AIDS context were within the preview of the Foundation since 1996. Reaching out to nearly 200 children every year, the Foundation has about 700 children registered till date. The Foundation also has specialized facilities at Bangalore and Hyderabad that care for HIV positive abandoned orphans.
Freedom Foundation has been one of the first organisations in the civil society sector to set up an effective PPTCT (Prevention of Parent To Child Transmission) intervention in the country. There are currently two major initiatives by the Foundation; one in and around Bangalore and the other in and around Hyderabad. The Bangalore intervention has been hailed as an ideal public/private partnership. The Foundations PMTCT interventions at Bangalore work very closely with the BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Pallike) and KSAPS (Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society) at the various maternity hospitals within the public health system. The Hyderabad intervention works within the private sector hospitals. Both these intervention reach out to about 45,000 women annually.
Out of its vast experience the Foundation has provided consultation and technical assistance to the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (Nigeria) that worked in partnership with the Govt. of Nigeria. These operations have been successful in replicating the Foundation’s strategies and model in Nigeria.
Freedom Foundation is the recipient of many International awards for its work in the Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS sector.
UNAIDS has published a case study of the Freedom Foundation as a “Center of Excellence” and “Best Practice” on Comprehensive Care.
The first Commonwealth Award for “Action on HIV/AIDS” was conferred on the Freedom Foundation for its “Outstanding Work in Comprehensive Care” in 2001.
The Foundation has been recipient to two Global Rounds of funding under GFATM (Global round for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria); the Round 2 and Round 4.
The US based ASHOKA – Innovators for the Public, conferred a Fellowship award to Dr. Ashok Rau, Executive Trustee & CEO, Freedom Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
UNAIDS has presented the Freedom Foundation with an award for its work an award for “Excellence in Community Care” this was presented by Dr. Peter Piot (Executive Director-UNAIDS) on 4th November 2004.
The Terry Sanford Institute of Public Health (Duke University - USA) has conferred Dr. Rau as a Senior Research Fellow.
The achievements of Freedom Foundation lies in its sound working strategy and an efficient team that has managed to achieve a lot within resource limitations. While a few of the Foundation’s initiatives are supported by grants, many are possible only through our committed donors and volunteers.