Introduction & Overview:-
SATHI SAMUHA (Friends Group) is a community-led nongovernmental organization of Positive People Who Use Drugs in Nepal, founded by an energetic and concerned individuals to respond to the HIV & AIDS scourge amongst people who use or inject drugs (PWIDs) and support people living with HIV & AIDS (PLHIV) and thier families. Established in February 2006, SATHI is legally registered under the NGO law of Nepal at District Administrative Office (DAO) of Kathmandu and is affiliated to the Social Welfare Council (SWC) of Nepal with an aim "To contribute to a society where every person who use/inject drugs and people living with HIV/AIDS have equal rights, access to quality health care & are able to live in an environment free from stigma & discrimination". We do this mainly through our organizational strategies of Service Delivery, Awareness Raising and Advocacy for the health & civic rights of PWIDs & PLHIV at local, national, regional & international levels.
Likewise, in order to achieve its' organizational aim & objectives, SATHI since it's inception has been implementing various programs and projects particularly related to Injecting/Drug Use-Harm Reduction, HIV & AIDS and HCV -Prevention, Treatment, Care & Support and Gender related issues among others, as such to offer health-treatment, social, economic, legal & livelihood services for it's target beneficiaries cum constituencies.
Similarly in order to encompass the wider groups & communities left-behind and affected by this epidemic, SATHI has started to work for these vulnerable and voiceless communities such as, Single (Separated & or Widow) woman living with HIV/AIDS, Children living with & affected by HIV & AIDS (CABA) and Street-children (normal & those using drugs) in Nepal via different Prevenion & Care programs under the Global Fund HIV & AIDS project. As the geographic and programmatic coverage of the organization is increasing and changing with time and on demand of its beneficiaries, SATHI has responded to it by expanding it's geographic & programmatic coverage as well as its target populations as mentioned above, for example SATHI has initiated and added service provision for Street-children (normal & those using drugs) in forms of Behavior Change Communication (BCC) sessions, Nutrition distributons and HIV prevention & care program along with Referral & Linkages as per need, through its' service centers. Similarly we are providing a monthly cash transfer support to Children living with HIV/AIDS (CLHIV) as a social security of these children in 2 (Two) districts namely Kathmandu & Nuwakot. More information on Street-children & CLHIV programs can be found at "Current projects & programs" section.
Since the begining of the Global Fund round-7 Programme in 2009 in Nepal, SATHI has been working as one of the pro-active sub-recipients (S.Rs) under the Global Fund HIV & AIDS Programme-PWID Component in the capital city-Kathmandu, in partnership with Save the Children International (SCI); a Principal Recipient of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria (GFATM) in Nepal.
Most currently, SATHI is focusing more on its 2 (Two) organizational strategies i.e. Service Delivery and Advocacy. On (regular) service delivery part, we have been working on Diagnosis/Screening, Prevention, Treatment & Care interventions of HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (HCV & HBC), and on advocacy part we are working at local, national, regional & international levels for the protection & promotion of health & civic rights as well as for greater & meaningful involvement of people who use/inject drugs & people living with HIV/AIDS (G/MIPA) at all levels affecting their quality of lives, mostly in cooperation with inter/national Key Populations (K.P) networks and allies.
"SATHI is the community. We know what it’s like to overdose, go into treatment, shoot drugs, be stigmatized & discriminated. We know what it is like to save a loved one and to lose a loved one. We bring this authenticity to the work we do, the meetings we attend and the relationships we build. We know what we are talking about when we advocate for needle/syringe and medically supervised injection sites (MSIS) or CD4 & viral load test facilities avaiable at all needy places...treatment of viral Hepatitis, scale-up of Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) sites and treatment options/choices avaiable for our PWID & PLHIV friends....
....we have repressive drug laws and discriminatory HIV policies to eliminate. We need to expand NSP, OST sites across the country and scale-up ARV and HCV treatment coverage. We still have supervised injection sites to establish and lobby, advocate for social security & protection of children & (Single) women living with HIV & AIDS. We need Harm Reduction approach and HIV treatment & care ACKNOWLEDGED, ACCEPTED & INCORPORATED at national & policy levels thereby securing domestic funds and sustainibility plan for these essential programs. Drug users and HIV positive people needs easy access to fair & quality health care & social services. And the voice & issues of PUDs & PLHIV needs to be at all of these tables, through organizations like SATHI..as a community..as a representative & also as a watchdog".