Balarc Foundation: Culture and Ethics
Introducing Balarc Foundation
Balarc Foundation is a community led, community owned, community based organisation set up to provide technical assistance to other primary partner community based organisations which exist to improve the sexual health, welfare and human rights of populations at Risk (PAR) and marginalised populations across the country.
Balarc aims to provide technical assistance, capacity building and institutional support to local self-help networks, groups and organizations for the development of community-based and beneficiary-led HIV, sexual health and skill building services along with their educational & vocational skill development for all those who are marginalised with a special focus on populations at Risk, also referred as secondary partners, and advocate on their behalf.
Defining PAR (Populations at risk)
This is usually an acronym for populations at Risk. However, the term men can be problematic within the context of different cultural definitions of Man, Manliness, Manhood, Women, Feminities, Womanhood In the context of Balarc Foundation we will be using PAR to mean Populations at Risk due to high-risk behaviours
It should also be recognised that 'PAR' is a behavioural term and does not reflect a sexual identity. Within the use of the term 'PAR' there are many frameworks of from self-identified males with gender or sexual orientation.
Within the framework of high-risk sex, there is a range of masculinities, feminities along with diverse sexual and gender identities, communities, networks, and collectivities, as well as just behaviours without any sense of affiliation to an identity or community. This statement addresses the concerns of all these diversities within the framework of sexualities.
With a primary focus on populations at Risk, Balarc Foundation’s mission is to empower socially excluded and disadvantaged populations to secure for themselves, social justice, equity, health and well-being through technical, institutional and financial support, with a primary focus on marginalised populations.
Why must we work with populations at Risk, disease prevention, treatment, care and support
- It is needed on humanitarian grounds.
- It is needed epidemiologically.
- It is needed from a public health perspective
- It is needed from a social development perspective.
Populations at Risk whether their self-identity is linked to their risky behaviour or not, have:
- The right to be free from violence and harassment;
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect;
- The right to be treated as full citizens in their country;
- They have a right to education and dignified living;
- The right to be free from HIV or any other diseases;
- PAR who are already infected with HIV have the right to access appropriate care and treatment equally with everyone else, regardless of how the virus was transmitted to them.
Objectives and Activities
- Increasing capacities of marginalised collectivities, groups, organizations effectively respond to HIV, other diseases.
- Increasing capacities of marginalised populations to respond to educational & skill development and placement needs.
- Facilitate and leverage funding for CBOs and other organization working on issues of marginalised populations.
- Increase appropriate strategic information & knowledge and informed HIV services
Technical assistance and support
- We provide technical assistance and support through our district partners to local marginalised networks and groups to develop their own self-help HIV/ skill building services provision through training, capacity building, access to a range of tool-kits, management support and monitoring and evaluation.
- In this we are often involved in community building and development, including the provision of assistance to establish new community based organizations of populations at Risk and marginalised populations.
- We also support non-government organizations and other institutions in regard to providing HIV/ skill building services through training and capacity building.
- We provide skill building to the marginalised populations and facilitate suitable placements.
Advocacy and policy development
- Populations at Risk are highly stigmatised and socially excluded, particularly self-identified populations & collectivities at risk. As a consequence, there are tremendous social, cultural, legal and judicial impediments to health interventions for 'PAR', along with significant levels of harassment, violence and sexual abuse. Further the issues of HIV/AIDS/ education/ skill building/ placement concerning with ‘PAR’ are often ignored, denied, made invisiblised, or given low priority. All these issues require significant advocacy work towards developing policies at local, national and international towards creating and enabling and empowering environment for 'PAR'.
- Balarc Foundation is significantly involved in such advocacy and policy development work.
Work culture at Balarc Foundation
- Balarc Foundation believes in promoting individuality, innovativeness and creativity.
- Balarc Foundation believes that respect for individuals irrespective of any other factor is the core human value.
- Balarc Foundation believes that an institutional structure and the resultant hierarchy exist because they have to for an institution to physically exist. But all individuals working with Balarc Foundation, irrespective of their designation and level, are equal stakeholders in Balarc Foundation’s mission. All have their respective strengths and relative weaknesses. Therefore functioning as a team yields better synergies.
- The above beliefs of Balarc Foundation constitute the core of Balarc Foundation’s work environment and therefore determine the work culture of Balarc Foundation.
- Balarc Foundation also believes that any organisation’s work culture is not a tangible product that can be offered as a capsule or encapsulated in form of a set of guidelines. Work culture is a summation of the attitudes and beliefs of each individual in the team and how these attitudes and beliefs interplay and script the grammar of their day-to-day interactions.
- Satisfied employees are not necessarily productive employees. Productive employees are not necessarily happy employees. Balarc Foundation is conscious of this and the senior leadership of Balarc Foundation strives towards promoting aspects of culture that will support each of these qualities in the Balarc Foundation team.
Balarc Foundation is a development agency focusing on marginalised population and their concerns in India. In its work Balarc Foundation will fully consider the implications of populations at Risk, for themselves, for their partners, and for any clients of those populations.
In this work Balarc Foundation will be guided by the following principles:
- Promoting the health of populations at Risk by encouraging responsibility and safer practices.
- Encouraging populations at Risk to access better services whenever necessary.
- Respecting confidentiality.
- Promoting the protection of children and non-consenting adults from abusive relationships.
- Promoting the reproductive and sexual health of populations at Risk, by encouraging responsibility
- Encouraging communication of health information between partners and promoting partner notification of transmitted infections and HIV infection, irrespective of the gender of the partner.
- Working with female reproductive and sexual health services, in order to facilitate appropriate access to services for infected female partners of populations at Risk.
Balarc Foundation and our partnership process
Currently Balarc has direct technical support relationships with a range of community based organizations spread across the country. Each of these partners also provides direct technical assistance and support to their partners in their specific status. In the case of states, this relationship is conducted with district level partners, who in turn provide direct technical assistance and support with local organizations within that particular region.
Often this will mean developing new organizations at district and state level where such organizations may not exist.
Apart from these community-based organisation, Balarc also adopts different town areas and villages to undertake health, education & skill building issues and mainstream the issues of marginalised populations. There is a Memorandum of Understanding between Balarc Foundation and district Partners.