Listening to the Needs of Female Injecting Drug Users: Housing for children enables more FIDUs to enrol in short stay home

A resident at Chanura Kol’s short stay home checks her phone for messages. (Photographer: Prashant Panjiar)

When female injecting drug users (FIDUs) in Manipur cited a lack of accommodation for their children as being a major deterrent to enrolling in Chanura Kol’s detox programme, the Chanura Kol team responded quickly. Team members piloted a short-stay home which provides housing to two children five years of age or younger for each woman enrolled in the detox programme.

Toys, space for playing and child appropriate nutrition is provided at the Drop in Centre (DIC) where women who inject drugs undergo detox treatment. For further care, children of FIDUs, who are enrolled at the short stay home, are referred to government-supported Aaanganwadi Centres (AWCs) which offer existing pre-school, nutrition and health services.

The short-stay home provides a safe and supportive space to help women reintegrate into their families and society. So far, 45 women have accessed the services offered at the Chanura Kol short-stay home. 41 women have been provided vocational training, and 16 women have initiated income generating activities with Chanura Kol’s support.

This short stay home exemplifies the flexibility with which the Chanura Kol team operates, and highlights the programme’s belief in customizing solutions based on the needs of the women it seeks to help.

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The India HIV/AIDS Alliance in partnership with SASO, implements the Chanura Kol project in Manipur. This project is funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation and serves to expand interventions to decrease HIV transmission and reduce drug relapse among female injection drug users (FIDUs).

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