Our Vision: Our Mission: Our Ethos:

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1 Our Vision: To pioneer affordable treatment and rehabilitation that make a difference in the lives of those affected by alcohol/drug addictions and those living with HIV/AIDS and also reduce stigma associated with these conditions. Our Mission: Freedom Foundation will enhance access to quality health care & treatment for people living with alcohol/drug abuse and/or HIV/AIDS through a commitment to increasing awareness, treatment, care, support, advocacy, expanded linkages & networking and create a platform for best practice and cross learning. Our Ethos: FREEDOM To Think To Contemplate To Do Something Constructive About Oneself To Change To Live Life Positively That in essence is our approach At Freedom Foundation

2 From the CEO s desk: Dear Friends, Welcome to this issue of the Freedom Foundations annual report (2009/10) I believe that this annual report will help you all connect to the Freedom Foundation community at large and vice versa. 2009/10 has been a very challenging year for the Foundation; while the beginning of the year saw the Foundation reach an all time high in terms of its reach and beneficiaries, towards the end of 2009 also saw a drastic scaling down of our operations, many initiatives had to be closed due to the paucity of funds and changes at the policy level of some of our donors, added to this was the global rescission and its impact on donors and philanthropy. While various challenging management and administrative decisions were made at the Foundation, the implementation of many of these was rather hard since these had to be in accordance with the ethical and social responsibility the Foundation has to all beneficiaries. While many projects had no financial permissibility of operations, the Foundation was committed to ensuring that our beneficiaries were not left in the lurch. All essential services were operational resulting in mounting deficit of funds. We have taken a step back to re-evaluate our strategies, and learn from our experiences, while our commitment to the vision and mission is as clear as ever, we now believe that there is a need to develop more self sustaining initiatives. While we are on the threshold of piloting a few such initiatives, It is going to be a challenge since the sector and the communities that the Foundation focuses on will need a lot of hand holding before the possibility of self sustenance is demonstrated. The year 2009/10 also saw a subtle but definite shift in the role of civil society in combating the issues of HIV/AIDS, Addiction, and poverty. Due to further changes in the national strategies and highly restrictive budgets of various government schemes and some donor grants, it has become next to impossible to provide quality support to our beneficiaries through Government / donor sponsored schemes. The Foundation took a decision to withdraw from all Government schemes for now. While we are of the firm opinion that working with national and state governments is imperative; we wish to wait for a more conducive environment to facilitate the same. One of the reasons for the mounting financial deficits is the paradox of being committed to providing all necessary services to our communities in need and the lack of financial resources due to a major donor withdrawing support. The Foundation never had a corpus for operating expenses to tide over such lean periods. We are now committed that with your support we would be able to build a corpus fund in the months to come. I take this opportunity to thank all our donors and well wishers for their ongoing support and contributions The management would like to place on record its appreciation to the resilience and commitment that many of our staff and beneficiaries have demonstrated during this highly challenging period. As you go through this report you will read and see the trauma of separation due to the closure of some of our initiatives as demonstrated by the experiences of beneficiaries, staff, and well wishers. I do hope that the successes and failures of the various stories and narratives in this thought provoking report would inspire all of you as it has for us at the Foundation to work harder at achieving our collective vision and mission. I am confident that our collective motivation would ensure that our beneficiaries are never deprived of the necessary support that is needed. I hope that you too would be part of the legacy of the Freedom Foundation We look forward to your valuable feedback, support and contributions. Wishing all of you the very best With Warmest Regards Dr. Ashok K. Rau Executive Trustee & CEO

3 When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.... Author unknown What did we do in 2009? By all standards the year 2009 must have seen the extremes of highs and lows for the Freedom Foundation. In 2009, the Foundation had services spread across 10 districts in south India and had dynamic programmes catering to the needs of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS. On the down side, early 2010 was the time when some of our care centres had to close down due to the fact that tenure of the grant had come to an end. It is also the year where Freedom Foundation decided to take a step back and re-think it s strategies and scope of work. What was the impact we created? Comprehensive care and support for People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV): The Foundation s strength has always been that it has stuck to it s vision to serve. PLHIV have been the main beneficiaries. In , the Foundation has through the various care centres reached out to PLHIV for provision of comprehensive care. Till April 2010, the care centres were situated in Bangalore, Bellary, Udupi (the three in state of Karnataka), Secunderabad (in the state of Andhra Pradesh), Chennai (in the state of Tamil Nadu) and Goa which received funding from the state AIDS control societies. In addition under the Global Fund round 4, there were centres running at Guntur, Kakinada (the two in Andhra Pradesh), Trichi (in Tamil Nadu) and Bagalkot (in Karnataka). The services at the centre comprise: Medical consultation, Inpatient care, Diagnostics, Counselling, Palliative care and HIV related awareness. All medical services for PLHIV have been provided free of cost at the care centres. Awareness Program at Hindustan Unilever Pvt. Ltd.,

4 Graph 1: No. PLHIV that received care services in The HAART program at FF is based on a cost recovery model where the Foundation procures the medicines from pharmaceutical companies at discount and passes on the same to patients. Currently the program runs at both Bangalore and Secunderabad State AIDS Cell supported Global Fund Round 4 Supported What are we doing for greater access to Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART)? The HAART program of the foundation began in the year 2000 when the Foundation decided to reach out to children and single parents living with HIV. HAART refers to a cocktail of medicines which are given to PLHIV in-order to keep the virus under control and thus keep the immune system of the person intact. The program in the year 2004 got a big opportunity to work alongside other NGOs and the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) to expand the HAART program and thus reach out to more PLHIV. This was made possible through funds from the Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM round 2), which came to a close in April 2009 and since then the Foundation has been running the operations on it s own. The out-patient facility of the Foundation from where this program runs also has a laboratory attached. Diagnostics relevant to HIV care is done at the laboratory (CD-4 counts, various bio-chemistry and microbiology tests). The laboratory is registered for External Quality Control Schemes in-order to ensure accuracy of the reports. There are approximately 3000 PLHIV accessing HAART through this program. Collaboration with Drexel College of Medicine: Freedom Foundation is still working closely with the Drexel College of Medicine (DCM)-USA. Currently the institutions are working on joint publications. Also DCM has come forward to strengthen the laboratory infrastructure. The laboratory now has a -20 degree storage facility and a laminar flow hood. In addition, DCM has been helping with some of the running costs at the out-patient clinic. Freedom Foundation s Child Care Program: The child care initiative at Freedom Foundation was initiated due to the need that existed in the 1990s. There were many adults at the time who expressed their dying wish to have Freedom Foundation take care of their children as their own relatives would not (due to the misconceptions regarding HIV). From then till now, the

5 Foundation believes that as far as possible, a child should stay with it s family as that is the most natural safe environment for the child. It is only when relatives of the child show no interest in taking care of the child, that we admit the child for residential care. The Foundation today runs two child care centres Positive kids (at Bangalore) and Diya (at Secunderabad). Between the two centres, we care for 50 HIV +ve orphans. The homes cater to all the needs of the children (treatment, education, nutrition, extracurricular activities). All of this is done within an environment of love and care. Reaching out to children in the community: In the early years, we at the Foundation realized that HIV/AIDS was causing a role reversal. When the adults in the family were being weakened by the disease, the burden of becoming care givers was falling on the children. The oldest child in the family was often dropping out of school in-order to look after the parents or to earn the livelihood for the family. This was also leading to increase in child labour and would also pave the way for other social evils if not dealt with effectively. What we also noticed was that even amongst the children who continued schooling, very often they were dealing with starvation. This made it extremely difficult for the child to do well in studies. These experiences gave way to the food and education assistance program. With the help form the Churches Council for Youth and Child Care & Kinder Not Hilfe, Freedom Foundation today reaches out to hundreds of children in the community. These children are either orphaned, living with their guardians or have parents who are HIV +ve and come from economically poor families. The aim is to see that the children complete high school and where possible go on to complete their graduation or otherwise go in for vocational training. The looming threat: In 2009, we had the biggest setback in our child care program. The children at our Hyderabad unit were sent away from school with their transfer certificates (TC). This decision was taken by the school board based on the objections from the parents of the other children. Despite all efforts to convince the school board, the children were forced to stay out. Freedom Foundation held media campaigns and also had people from the state AIDS cell and the education department speak up regarding the children s right to education and also explain the fact that HIV +ve children are not a threat to the other children at school. However these efforts did nothing to sway the school board. For months, the children had to stay at home. Finally one school run by the Operation Mobilization ministries has taken in a few of the children. We need to find schools that will take in the remaining children. During this trying time, it has been our volunteers who have stepped up and started home tutoring the children. Volunteer Get-to-gather program

6 What has been done for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV? It was in 1998 that we had our first case of a pregnant woman with HIV. The chances of transmission of HIV from mother to child are very high nearly 40% if appropriate measures are not taken. Despite having no funds, the Foundation decided that every step would be taken to ensure that another baby would not have to live with HIV. In 2001, Freedom Foundation was amongst 4 NGOs that formed a consortium to apply for a grant from the Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). This grant enabled the Foundation to scale up it s PMTCT activities. The services provided under this program are HIV testing for pregnant women, medicines that reduce transmission of HIV (given to HIV +ve mother and new born baby), HIV testing for the baby, long term follow-up for mother and baby. The program also encourages the father to get involved in the process and he is provided with testing, counselling and medical services as well. Initially the Foundation like it s consortium partners provided services directly at the hospitals. However, now in-order to increase the number of women and babies reached, efforts are on to spread out to more hospitals and educate doctors regarding availability of services. This leads to more number of HIV +ve pregnant mothers being referred for services. Through these interventions, we have managed to prevent HIV transmission to 97% of the babies born. Number of pregnant women reached with testing Number of pregnant HIV +ve women provided with services 106 Inauguration of PMTCT in St. Philomena's Hospital World AIDS Day 2009 Our work with substance abuse / chemical dependency: Contrary to popular belief, addiction to alcohol and drugs is not based on the morals or the mental resolve of a person. It is actually a disorder that is caused by chemical imbalances in the body. When persons with these chemical imbalances take alcohol or drugs, they get a sense of fulfilment. As they continue to seek such fulfilment, they get more dependent on these substances and that is how they get addicted. Substance abuse is not determined by age, social class, wealth or education. Freedom Foundation s de-addiction problem recognises this disorder and acknowledges that addiction can-not be dealt with solely through medicines. It requires a change in thinking, in life

7 style, it requires a person to acknowledge that he/she requires help and requires a steely determination to comply with the program. In , the Foundation admitted 157 people to the deaddiction centre. There has been a recovery rate of 57% at the centre. CELEBRATIONS OF FESTIVALS AT FREEDOM FOUNDATION Words are plentiful; deeds are precious. -- Lech Walesa Success Stories The community takes over the running of our out-patient clinic at Siruguppa: This place is located near Bellary and has a high prevalence of HIV in the community. Freedom Foundation in 2001 with a grant from the Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS) had initiated a counselling centre and weekly medical camps for PLHIV in that region. It was a robust program that looked at community education regarding HIV/AIDS and focussed on prevention alongside medical care. However once the funding came to an end in 2002, keeping the clinic running was a constant struggle. Sometime ago a local businessman Mr. Kiran Jain heard about Freedom Foundation s activities and visited the clinic at Siruguppa. He understood the implication that having a high prevalence of HIV in the area would mean that more and more youth would get infected and die of AIDS. With this background, he agreed to start helping with the monthly running expenditure and also motivated 5 other business men in the community to come forward. Now these gentlemen take turns every month to cover the running expenses at the centre. The Siruguppa Munciplity also came forward to donate medicines which are distributed to the patients.

8 The darkest clouds often bring the heaviest showers of blessing... Author unknown A few months ago, Ravi (name changed) came to Bagalkot care centre to donate 36 kgs of jaggery. He was well turned out and looked healthy and happy. Just a few months earlier however, he had been a distressed and sick patient. What caused this change? When Ravi first came to the centre, he was in severe distress and had behavioural problems. He had recently been diagnosed with HIV and was having a lot of difficulty coming to terms with this. At our centre, Ravi s agitation worsened and further investigations revealed that he had cryptococcal meningitis (a life threatening fungal infection). Once he was stable, using real-life case studies, he was counselled on the importance of routine health checks and on dealing with opportunistic infections. The staff at the centre saw a slow but definite shift in his attitude and behaviour. He started taking responsibility for his treatment and medication. The true test of his resolve was seen when he participated at a state-level cultural event for PLHIV. He was part of a team that went on to win the second prize at the event. This gave him immense joy and motivation. He is currently working on his farm growing sugarcane and vegetables, something he never thought he would have the energy or will power to do. What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal....albert Pike You have helped us make a difference: None of what we do as care providers would be possible without the involvement of our well wishers. As individuals or as part of a group, these people have held hands with us during the good times and the bad and have prodded us to move on. We use this annual report as a platform from which we express our gratitude to each and everyone who has contributed their time or money to Freedom Foundation. Some of the corporate supporters of Freedom Foundation have been: Philips, HSBC, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Thomson Reuters, KPMG, Dell, HSBC software, Humeri Tarian Did Foundation, Joyce Mayer Ministries, Osmania Medical College, Waldorf Support from Institutions or registered bodies: Churches Council for Youth and Child Care & Kinder NotHilfe, Overseas Women s Club, Lions Club of Bangalore, The Inner Wheel Club of Bangalore, Rotary Club of, NACO and the State AIDS Cells, Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria.

9 Support from Individuals: Ane Johnren Waldorf K.Srinivas IHMP Lakshmi Shanker Leela Kondath Dinesh K.V.Srikrishna Reddy Mr.Shivakumar M.Pandian M.Reddy Krishnaveni Dinesh Mala Kailu Mallesh Mar Reddy Lt Col Rajesh Rai P.Maheswar Rao P.Munappa Mahathi Singh P.Viswanath PB Bhavani Prasad P.Vinay Kumar Sirisha Narayanan Name Of Donor Concern Universal Foundation Prashanth Yadav T.Rajani Name Of Donor Prema Rao R.Srinivasn R.V.K.Rajan Ramachandra Reddy Y.Abhilash Name Of Donor Avinash Chemist & Druggist Elangovan Ratnakar Anchan Anandha Raman Mahesh Akshya Homes Madhava Partha Sarathy Praveenkumar Dos Anuradha Mohammed Hassim Harish Karbo Umesh Shetty Shausan Chandar Rahman Mrs. Julie Sri Rangammal Sundar Babu Lorethe Sanhago & Prasanna Dr.Evita Fernandes Murali Dr.Sathish Reddy E.Mar Caren G.Mar Reddy G.Rajkumari Ravi Sudhakar Surya Kiran Developers Super Natural Dreams Veera & Gopi Surya Kiran Developers Surya Kiran Name of Donor Wilson Mohan R Bhat Mrs.S.Eapen Sai Varadraj Indus International School D.Basavraj Hunnur,Bagalkot Dr.D.Nageshwar Rao (Mamta Scan Centre) Surya Medicals Name of Donor K.Shashi Mr.Abraham K.Shashi Mr.Guru Name of Donor Mr.Balamurugan Mr.Srishail Chari Pt.Roshan M/S.Kf Trust Name of Donor World Maid Flesh Madras Cements Ltd Prakasam Prasanna Mr.Shrihail Chari Renganayagi Mr.Raju.A.T Mr.Sankar Mr.Vijay Narasimha Mr.Jaganath Prasad Mr.Deepak Mr. J Ravi Aksaya Home Mr. Prakasam Pavan Computer Mr.A.S.Dalvai K.Basavraj S.L.Patil, Bagalkot Ganapati Rao Suneetha Enterprises Ms.Arathi Reena Kolekar Mr.Abraham Nayaz,Srinivas Niranjan Gudipathi Chetan Tiwari Mr.Nitin Rajagopalan Mr.Gopikrishana Mr.Jay Lee & Mr.Arun Prasad Rohan Nigam Dr.Elizanmbi Nice Foundation Mahila Action Indo Global Sss A.M.P.K.Puri Mr.Umesh Neeru Morraku Mr.Sardar Nirmal Singh Atcane Khosnoud Faming A.Vijay Kumar Adity Bose Amala Akkineni Andra Rao Bethapudi David CDR Kondath D.Kishore Dhanunj Samraksha Dinesh Fr. Biju Mathew Laskshman Thangam Moi Lee Liow Raju Sri Ram & Co. Lions Club Madras Radhika Sundram Mahalaxmi Dhandapani Ravi & Shelter Trust Anu Nath Jagannath Mahapati K.Adbhutha Rao K.G.Subadra K.S.Rao Shelter Trust Nalmanam Lakshman Helping Hands Foundation Tansacs Prasanna Oasis India Mr.S.Mohan Kumar Mr.Shideyaldlce Iswariya Gopal Family Planning Assoc. Nalmanam Varalaxmi Ms.Sukrithi Kumari Sujith J Salyan District Rotrat Org Nand Kishore Bhatia La Calypso Hotels Pvt Ltd Alexandra Tourist Centre Rahul Salgaonkar Konkani Tiat Jeevan Community Centre Albert Nagaeth Francis D'souza Cyril Pinto DS Max Properties Ltd Zion Charitable Trust Vas Medical & Equips & Diognostic Sri Venkateshwara G.V.Padmavathi Geetha Thoopal Selvi Mathem Joseph Monica Vasudev N.Hari kumar (Deloitte) Rtn.D.N. Gauri S.Balakrishnan S.Gourishanker Mr.Capt.M. Gaffer Name Of Donor Rajan Elite Matric Higher School Hands Foundation Ravi Sumathi Chinnarani & Mathews Balraj Lakshman & Prasanna Navi Kiran Lalitha Hegde Mr. Bharathi Shankar Shetty YMCA Santhosh Kumar Ganesh B.M Nagaraj Surya Kiran

10 Developers Akshya Homes Gautham Chand Shelter Trust Surya Kiran Developers Surya Kiran Developers Mr. Rahul Kavlekar Mr. Bikaram Ji Mr. Narahari Reddy Bellary Mr. Yeregowda Mr. Allabaksh Mr. Bansilal Jain Mr. Chunilal Arya Mr. B.M.Nagaraj Narasimha Swamy Rice Mill Mr. Murari Reddy Ms.Usha B.R Mr.Thomas Manil Rego Mr.Hyder Ali Mr.P L N Swamy Mr.Reddeppa Reddy Mr.Alok Ghosh Gopi Krishna Mrs & Mr. Dangi Mrs.Yashodamma.V.N Ms.Tiki Nelson Surgical SDS Pharmaceutical & Sai Pharma Mr. Rajagopalan Mr.Kumar Swamy Prop Kumar Egg Bank & Corporator Bellary Christan Chaitnya Welfare Bikaram Ji Developers Surya Kiran Developers Janaki Corporation Ltd Suzanna Hong Mallikarjuna Gowda Mr.Kiran Kumar Jain Mr. Navarathnmal Jain Mr.Narayan Swamy Ms.Madhuri Manjunatha Ms.Jayashree Dr.Raju A.T Ms.A.V. Radhalakshmi Mr.Mohan Kumar Mr.Y.N.Santosh Ms.Sailaja Meka Rajashree R Naik Mr.M.Ganga Raju S.S.Rama Raju R K Naik Saathi Mr. Ashok Mrs. Kalyani Divakar Mr.Sanjay G Ms.N. Meenakshi Ms.Sushma Reddy Mr.J.Srinivasa Raju Umesh Deoraj T.Sitarama Shashtri Sai Sandeep Sri Vastav T.Sreedhar Reddy Y.Abhilash Satya Jaya Raman Sudha Govthi Venu Y.Shashikala To Each And Every One Of Our Supporters, We Say THANK YOU Access to Care and Treatment (ACT) Project Funders: Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria (round 4) Current status: Closed The Global Fund Round 4 HIV/AIDS program in India contributes to the global "3-by-5" initiative launched by WHO/UNAIDS. The Global Fund Round 4 Program was a public-private sector partnership of which Freedom Foundation was one of the partners. As of 2010 April, Freedom Foundation s role in this program comes to an end. The principal recipient of the Round 4 HIV component fund in India is NACO (at the public sector level) and Population Foundation of India (PFI, for the NGO and private sector). The PFI lead an NGOprivate sector consortium which comprised the Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (INP+), Freedom Foundation (FF), Engender Health Society (EHS) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Of the phaartners, INP+ and FF were responsible for providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). The Implementation arrangement: The table below briefly outlines the responsibilities undertaken by the partners in project ACT. Activities Program and grants management Monitoring and evaluation Agencies Population Foundation of India

11 Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (INP+) Freedom Foundation (FF) Engender Health Society (EHS) Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) As part of it s endeavour to reach out to PLHIV who found it difficult to access health care, FF decided to rapidly scale up care services in high and medium prevalence districts in south India. The prior experience of the Foundation in providing comprehensive care and setting up community care centres came handy. By specifically taking into account the needs of the PLHV patients, ACT obtained the advantage available from a seamless customization process. Centres were set up in Bagalkot (in Karnataka), Guntur & Kakinada (in Andhra Pradesh) & Trichy (in Tamilnadu). The manner in which the communities responded, in a record time provided clear evidence that there was a gap in the existing services, which was bridged by the Foundation. A total of PLHIV were registered for services. Of this 7287 were on HAART through the government program Apart from the various opportunistic infections and the HAART initiation/ follow-up cases seen at the centres, one of the major service delivery areas for these care centres were that they were able to provide palliative care. The care & support centres were in areas where there was no other HIV care provider. Families required external support in-order to be able to provide end of life care for their loved ones and to ensure that their quality of life was retained as far as possible. No. Palliative care provided Palliative Care details Guntur Trichy Bagalkot Kakinada Total % of cases admitted at CCSCs required palliative care. During the initial years of setting up CCSCs, there was a backlog of the clients requiring intensive & palliative care. No. of Beneficiaries Registered at CCSCs No. of Registered Benificiaries District-level networks (DLN) Treatment counseling centre (TCC) Positive living centre (PLC) Comprehensive Care & Support Services (CCSC) Capacity-building HAART Services at Corporate Sector Health facilities,health Smart Card Feasibility Study 58.7 % % % Guntur % Trichy ART Non-ART % 33.1 % Bagalkot 1373 % Kakinad % 599 a

12 Pre HAART work up & post HAART monitoring: Every client who registered in CCSC had been screened for the HAART initiation criteria. Clients who registered in centre had facilitated by staff for all the basic assessment of health condition and clinical history to screen the HAHAART initiation. If the client falls in criteria to start HAART client the preparedness done and if not provide them basic necessaries to follow on. There were many clients came to admit to manage and observe the Post HAARTside effects and Opportunistic infections. The other salient features were: Evolution of an effective Outreach Strategy: The outreach activities of FF was developed in coordination and consultation with the local stake holders and nodal agencies. Thereby a clear demarcated geographical area was assigned to FF. The focus was on strengthening the and abiding by the principles of NACP III (National AIDS Control Program). The out reach worker was responsible for interacting with PLHIV and introducing concepts of positive living, prevention of transmission, treatment education and importance of follow-up. Telephonic interactions and home visit approaches were used byff. Treatment Adherence Groups: TAG a promising practice at the FF care centres were initiated with the objective of supporting and enhancing the adherence to HAART by PLHIV. This gave a unique blend of both PLHAs on HAART for a long time with clients newly put on HAART. The positive reinforcement and mutual sharing of experiences contributed to the group cohesiveness, and there by leading to better adherence.tag also provided platform for health education and learning. Final Closure of projects: Despite all efforts to continue the functioning of the care centres under GFATM-4, FF s bid for an extension was un-successful. The projects had to wind down as there was no source for resource generation. The closure process was in accordance to the requirements stipulated by PFI. It was not just the Foundation, but also the PLHIV who were heartbroken to know about the closure. Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right. Martin Luther King Jr What is the way forward for ? Since 2009, Freedom Foundation has been undergoing a process of change. It has become very evident through the years that running

13 projects based entirely on funding available, is not feasible and in the long run it robs the Foundation of its identity. During the last few months of 2009, the management decided that it was time to take a hard and realistic look at our projects. It was clear that the centres that were not performing well had to close down. The closure of these centres is planned for mid The fact that Freedom Foundation was not considered for the extension of care and support centres under the Global Fund round 4 also caused a lot of disappointment. These centres were robust and dynamic units that catered to very large number of patients. Even though this was a very big setback to the Foundation, it further strengthened our resolve to start looking at self sustaining initiatives will look at Freedom Foundation consolidating its operations in Bangalore & Hyderabad. The only centre that will run with KSAPS funding will be the one at Bellary. The Foundation is in the process of trying out various strategies that will enable self sustenance. The Foundation also plans to follow through on getting the Fit Institution certificate from the Child Welfare Committee. This recognition is important as the centre continues to get referrals of children who need residential care promises to be one of the most challenging years for the Foundation. From the time of its inception where the Foundation faced many challenges, we seemed to have turned 360 degrees and are now back with facing issues of sustenance and creating an identity. Yet our vision of providing medical and psycho-social care to people from poor economic background is clear and we will forge ahead.

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