About Us

About Us

FAITH (Friends Affected & Infected Together in Hand) is a not for profit, non-governmental organisation working on behalf of socially marginalized and vulnerable populations. It is a national level women-led organization i.e., women are in decision making positions like on the executive board, as general members, in its secretariat.

Our IDEAL

We envision a world where each individual is able to exercise their fundamental rights free of coercion, stigma, discrimination, and violence.

Our AMBITION

We aim to serve as catalysts in shattering stigma attached to marginalised and minorities populations.

Our BELIEFS

Our work is guided and shaped by our core beliefs and commitments:

  • Power of people – We believe in the power of people to bring social change to this world. An individual living with HIV, a professional sex worker, or a young woman, each has a unique potential to make positive and meaningful impact in this world. When these empowered individuals speak out and seek change, they put pressure on societies to respond to their experiences, accelerating societal transformations.
  • Diversity – We respect diversity and are committed to equality. Diversity enhances creativity, promotes innovation and challenges the way we think. Our experience demonstrates that just and sustained decisions are possible when individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences are seated around the table, particularly those that are most impacted by such decisions.
  • Community – We are witness to the value of communities where inspired individuals are unified by a shared vision for the future and support each other in achieving it. Organisations or groups of people working together can gain control over factors that shape their lives and create powerful visions and strategies for change.
  • Dialogue – We recognise the importance of dialogue, a basic tenet of democracy and lasting peace. Dialogue demands that we become better listeners – willing to show empathy towards one another, recognise differences and search for common ground. In our work, sustainable solutions to seemingly intractable conflicts have been achieved through open and honest dialogue.

Our Journey

The beginning

FAITH grew out of a national movement that fought to ensure access to health rights of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and people who use drugs (PWUD). Early 2000, many in the community were becoming severely ill and in many cases, dying from AIDS. FAITH was born during this time, in 2005, with a mission to create a community of people infected with HIV and those affected by it: friends and family. From the very beginning, founders of the organisation made a conscious effort to focus our efforts for advocacy and lobbying policymakers, donors, and other strategic actors to create a favourable policy environment for people living with HIVrather than services deliver.

Successes

The combined and dedicated efforts of organisations, including FAITH, have resulted in substantial expansion of HIV services and equally important, provided hope to countless more – that people living with HIV can lead fulfilling and productive lives. While this was a major achievement for us and our community, we were compelled to do more. As evidence mounted that many people living with HIV are vulnerable to and, in many cases, dying from Tuberculosis (TB), we responded. Similarly, we were pioneers among our peers in tirelessly advocating for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of our beneficiaries. In addition, we are now also focusing on the economic empowerment of our beneficiaries and prevention of gender-based violence to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Road Ahead

This journey has taught us a lot about ourselves, the community we serve and ways to make the government responsive and accountable to our communities. We will continue to challenge the status quo through art, music, and technology. We intend to draw on our experiences and lessons to lead the change – through innovation – towards a transformed society with positive attitudes towards gender, sexuality, reproductive rights.

We Are Passionate About

Empowering the community

FAITH’s approach from the very beginning has been to empowering the community we serve. Hence, we called ourselves Friends Affected & Infected Together in Hand and we carried this ethos through every component of our organisation. It has helped us to stay connected to the community we serve and be true to our mission. From the very beginning, we have demanded that we are part of each decision-making process that impacts our lives.

Shattering stigma

We believe in shattering stigma. We do not accept a world that discriminates people based on their illness, gender, or profession. We have confronted people’s biases, sexism and racism by continuing to push this agenda at the national stage. We are known for staging provocative events such as, the nude art exhibition titled, ‘Expression of Repression’ as well as academic conferences (3rd National AIDS Conference) and hosting national level advocacy events (World AIDS Day, National conference of Female Sex Workers)to initiate dialogue about stigma, discrimination and denial of basic human rights.

Using new media and pop culture

We have been at the forefront of using technology and pop culture to reach large number of people. We have used documentaries, television/radio Public Social announcement, short film to educate the larger public and policy-makers about HIV, Tuberculosis, and sexual and reproductive health and promoting positive role models with profound impact.

Building Networks

We recognise the importance of network organisations that share in our vision. From the very beginning, we have played a key role in giving rise to formal networks, sustaining them, and keeping them accountable to the people they serve. As we look ahead, we play a catalytic role in organizing communities of people and organisations and equip them with the tools to advocate for their rights.

Exploring beyond HIV

The scopeof our organisation continues to expand along with the evolving needs of the community we serve. The problems faced by people living with HIV are shared by the society at large and guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal: access to comprehensive health services, gainful employment, adequate nutrition, educational opportunities, clean and healthy environments, among others. We see ourselves working across multi-sectoral actors to ensure that minorities and marginalised populations can live healthy and fulfilling lives. These ideas are consistent with the prevailing Sustainable Development Goals, National Health Policy, National Health Sector Strategy and other such policies.