Bringing acountability through local advocancy & Regional companionship

History

In 2005, Shivananda Khan receiving the Order of the British Empire from Prince Charles of Great Britain for his work with HIV and MSM populations in Asia
June 2005: Outside Buckingham Palace, London
1988
Before the beginning
Development of SHAKTI – the south asian lesbian and gay network in London, UK. Providing social support, counselling, advice and HIV/AIDS education

1990

The first South Asian workshop on HIV and AIDS in London, UK: SHAKTI HIV and AIDS Response (SHARE)

1991
The Beginning

October 1991, with a small grant, The Naz Project was established in a corner office on the first floor of this building. The first services provided were a hotline staffed by volunteers, and training programmes for local authorities in London on south asian issues with a focus on male-to-male sex, risks and vulnerabilities. The name Naz was the shortened form of the name of the first south asian person that the founder personally knew living with AIDS – Nazir. Disgusted with the services he was receiving from both government and non-government agencies, Naz Project was born – to fill the gaps in regard to prevention, care and support. Evolution of Friends India – a support group for marginalised minority groups with 430 members in 30 countries across the world. Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh India

1992
Working in Europe with South Asian and Muslim communities

Organised the First European Conference for South Asian and Muslim communities and HIV and AIDS With Naz Project chairperson Meena Bhanji, Jack Singh, who went to become a leader in the Asia region for people living with HIV and AIDS. Sadly he is with us no more.

1993
A first step into India

A seminar on alternate sexualities with SAKHI And expanding into additional space as the work in London increases Baroness Cumberland of the Department for Health, UK opening the new Naz Project office in London. Along with her is the Naz Project chairperson Meena Bhanji and Shivananda Khan

1994
A second step in India

The Humsafar Trust and Naz Project Conference, Mumbai on emerging identities and HIV
Naz Foundation India Trust to provide HIV prevention, and AIDS c are and support services in New Delhi. Naz India, an independent non-government organisation has grown since then to become one of the leading HIV non-government organisations in India. It also has an MSM and HIV project – Milan – which NFI supports with funds from the Big Lottery Fund, UK.
Naz Foundation India Trust to provide HIV prevention, and AIDS c are and support services in New Delhi. Naz India, an independent non-government organisation has grown since then to become one of the leading HIV non-government organisations in India. It also has an MSM and HIV project – Milan – which NFI supports with funds from the Big Lottery Fund, UK.
And meanwhile in the UK, Naz Project develops a new condom pack Milan Ki Raat with Durex, along with leafets in different South Asian languages,as well as a pop video, all targeting South Asian communities in the UK.

Shivananda with Apachi India, UK South Asian pop star and Durex representative.

1995
Extending in South Asia

With support from the Naz Project, Naz Calcutta was established to specifically work with MSM and HIV prevention, care and support. This agency eventually morphed into Prajaak Development Society, which works on masculinities and male sexual health in Kolkata.And then:
An international consultation on HIV and AIDS and Muslim countries/communities, held in Karachi, Pakistan, supported by the Global Programme on AIDS As well as Pan European Consultation Meeting on HIV and AIDS and ethnic minority communities, supported by WHO and the European Commission.
Since 1991, the Naz Project had been working in London for the South Asia communities, as well as initiating activities in India and Pakistan.

However, for Shivananda, the issues of males who have sex with males in the South Asia region, their enormous risks and vulnerability, along with the stigma, discrimination and violence so many faced, along with the very few appropriate services for their sexual health needs that were available, were increasing becoming more and more important to him.

At the same time, London donors were also expressing concern with the amount of work and involvement in South Asia of the Naz Project.

This final led to a fission of the Naz Project into two independent organisations:

Naz Project London that would continue the work and services in the London, UK and Naz Foundation International, which would focus on MSM, HIV and South Asia.

Establishing the NFI office - in a basement
Ist training workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh for developing an MSM and HIV community-based organisation – Bandhu Social Welfare Society. This programme was supported by Ford Foundation. Bandhu, starting with a small drop-in centre in central Dhaka, has nowgrown to provide HIV and AIDSservices for MSM in 7 cities inBangladesh, as well as developedan independent hijra and HIVorganisation as well
Workshop in Lucknow which lead to the formation of Bharosa
1997: Friends India evolved into an HIV service provision community group for marginalised males Evolution of Bharosa Trust Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh India Placement of 400 individuals as contractual employees and 35 full time employees.

Working with the National AIDS Programme from the Central Asian Republics on developing MSM and HIV programming, Almaty, Kazakhistan

1998
Workshop in Chennai, from which Sahodaran developed Workshop in Cochin, forming Shramaa

By this time, NFI was supporting: Bandhu, Dhaka, Bangladesh Bharosa, Lucknow, India Milan, Naz India, New Delhi, India Praajak, Calcutta, India Sahodaran, Chennai, India Shramaa, Cochin, India

NFI key staff: 1

1999
Hosted the 1st Regional MSM Consultation meeting in partnership with Praajak and Sashodaran in Kolkata. Psrticipating countries were Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with observers from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Donors were Family Health International, UNAIDS, USAID. Support was also given by NACO.
2000
And more MSM community–based organisations develop
Mithrudu in Hyderabad
Snegidhan in Pondicherry
Mithrudu in Hyderabad
Mithrudu in Hyderabad
Gelaya in Bangalore, now working in Mysore Syhlet in Bangladesh, part of the Bandhu network – Bandhu went on to develop four more project using the tools that NFI developed
2000 Our Regional Office opens in Lucknow
The Regional Office will gradually expand to include: A Training Centre (built in 2003)
A Knowledge and Resource Centre: refurbished in 2004
2000
And the 2nd Regional Consultation Meeting, held in Hyderabad,

India 17 partners from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, with observers from South-East Asia, getting together and sharing knowledge, skills, and experience.

2001
The Partners Network expands
Starting in 2001, Training of MSM Trainers courses being held at the NFI Regional Office in Lucknow.

With this trainers network being developed, new projects were also being developed in Comilla, Rajbair and Mymensingh in Bangladesh, Blue Diamond Society expanding in Nepal, Vision developing Nayyab Health Project in Lahore, Pakistan, and in India, MSM community-based services being developed in Bongaon, Imphal, Patna, Pune, Trichy, Vijayawada, and Vishakapatnam

In Kolkata, MANAS Bangla was formed by a group of MSM organisations to deliver community-based sexual health services.

2001 Behind bars
On July 7th, local police in Lucknow decided to raid the NFI Regional Office and arrested 3 NFI staff including the Executive Director Arif Jafar, along with the programme manager of Bharosa, the local MSM HIV organisation.

The accusation was that the regional office was really a male brothel, and that NFI and Bharosa were promoting homosexuality.

Initially bail was refused, and the four (eventually labelled as the Lucknow Four internationally) eventually spent 47 days in the Lucknow Jail, before being released on bail on 22nd August 2001.

NFI was able to mobilise an enormous response to this vicious indictment and human rights abuse against itself and one of its partner agencies, including the government of Great Britain, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, UNAIDS, and others. Across India, human rights organisations, lesbian and gay groups, women’s’ organisations, along with a range of individuals and institutions protested, held marches, and sent letters to the appropriate Union and State government officials and bureaucrats While the key charge of promoting homosexuality and aiding and abetting a criminal act (i.e. Section 377) has been dismissed, to this date monthly court appearances are still required

2001 – 2002 Did the work stop? No it did not, at an even more intense rate.
We continued technical assistance to NFI partners, international NGOs working with MSM and HIV, as well as a range of non-government organisations, national AIDS programmes and other institutions. And ever more training and skills building programmes.

Support provided for the First National MSM Consultation Meetings in Bangladesh and Nepal

Organised by Blue Diamond Society, Nepal
Organised by Bandhu Social Welfare Society,

Bangladesh

2003
The 3rd NFI Regional Consultation Meeting – our biggest yet
Over 200 participants from 14 countries in the South and South-East regions, representing 40 MSM sexual health projects, of which NFI 24 receive technical support from NFI.
2004
Promoting advocacy and policy support for MSM and HIV programming
Cohosting the 8th National Convention of the Indian Network of NGOS working on HIV and AIDS. This network consists of over 500 HIV and AIDS NGOs across India.
At the XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok Thailand, key focus agency to develop the UNAIDS sponsored MSM Leadership Statement – a call for social justice and equity.
2005 - 2006
Increasing coverage of MSM HIV programming in four state in India
Between 27th – 30th May, 2006, four MSM state consultation meetings were held in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Lucknow respective, all in parallel, bring together representatives from MSM networks in nine districts in each of the four states, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. These meetings represent the preliminary phase for the development of thirty-sex new MSM community-based organisations as HIV prevention, care and support service providers in the districts.

2005: Evolution of Naz Foundation International

Providing technical, financial and institutional support to sexual health interventions, educational and development groups and networks in India Placement of 200 individuals as contractual employees and 51 full time employees.

2006
and beyond
Currently NFI is providing technical assistance and support to some 40 community-based MSM HIV projects in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Is developing 36 new MSM community-based HIV organisations and 4 state level MSM technical support facilities in India.

Is developing the National MSM and AIDS Task Forces in Bangladesh and India with a range of partner agencies, as well as 11 advocacy cells across India.

Is working in Pakistan to provide technical assistance to MSM HIV programming, develop a range of MSM community-based HIV interventions, and develop an MSM technical support facility.

Is provided technical assistance to major international non-government organisations and national AIDS programmes working with MSM sexual health in India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand.

Is co-hosting with the National AIDS Control Organisation, India a major consultation meeting for MSM and HIV prevention, care and support programming in Asia and the Pacific in September 2006.

Is developing an online facility to access all NFI resources and other literature on MSM specific issues.

Will continue to implement its Vision, Goal, and Objectives, which are:

Vision: We believe in the innate capacity of low income MSM, where provided with appropriate resources and assistance, can be empowered to take control and improve their own lives living with dignity, social justice and well being.

Mission: To empower socially excluded and disadvantaged males to secure for themselves social justice, equity, health and well being through technical, institutional and financial support with a primary focus on marginalised MSM.

Goal: To reduce the risks of STI/HIV transmission and improve the reproductive and sexual health of males who have sex with males.

Objectives To develop and disseminate replicable, scalable and cost-effective models for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment interventions relevant to MSM behaviours. To build and support a network of state-level “linking organisations” in India and similar national-level organisations in other Asian countries, which have the capacity to provide ongoing assistance to grassroots organisations working directly with MSM populations. To improve the understanding of MSM behaviours and cultures among decision makers, opinion leaders, funders and other influential constituencies, particularly related to HIV/AIDS, social stigma and discrimination, gender and sexual violence. To advocate for policies that recognise the fundamental human rights of men who have sex with other men and create a political and social environment conducive to working with these men and their partners. To secure stable, long-term financial support for appropriate HIV/AIDS-related interventions among MSM populations.

Whether it be MSM reducing risk and improving sexual health

Or our neighbourhood kids in improving their education A young male sex worker An old male sex worker where economic survival and 'body heat' come together Making friends and helping each other: an MSM social group meeting Helping others to help themselves
Don't walk in front of me I may not follow Don’t walk behind me I may not lead Walk beside me and just be my friend (A Native American saying)
In Pondicherry, dressing up for religious festivals can be a serious affair. Here a rickshaw driver, his son and his friend are helped by the driver’s wife and sister.
Boys will be boys in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan
Finding secure spaces to meet is always a problem when the majority of males who have sex with males live with their families. Parks are obvious spaces for this.
Young men are curious and often experiment. In a culture with gender segregation, the may well experiment with each other, or with the many visible kothis available for sex
Slum dwellers, rickshaw drivers, and truck drivers do it
Satla kothi with a client
Boys will be girls – from Lao PDR Who is a real man? Lines of engagement at a PSI HIV workshop for kathoeys in Lao PDR In Mandalay, Myanmar, at a local religious festival where a lot of male-tomale sex occurs, and where PSI MSM programme promotes condom use
In Yangoon, Myanmar, the ‘boys’ get together to discuss safer sex and condom use. In Pattaya, Thailand, boys-as-girls, do the same thing