CHARCA (Coordinated HIV/AIDS and STD Response through Capacity-building and Awareness)
Implementing agency :
UN Theme Group on AIDS (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, ILO, WHO, UNDCP, UNESCO, World Bank and UNAIDS),
bilateral donors and NACO in coordination with SACS, international NGOs, media, civil society groups
and organisations of PLWHAs
Project sites :
Six districts in India where women are biologically, socially and economically vulnerable to risks of HIV/AIDS:
Bellary (Karnataka); Aizawl (Mizoram); Guntur (Andhra Pradesh); Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh); Kishanganj (Bihar);
Commenced on :
January 1, 2003
The CHARCA project is a dynamic partnership between organisations working on HIV/AIDS at every level:
national and state governments, district administration, NGOs, CBOs, donors, and the UN Theme Group on AIDS.
The project, being implemented in six identified districts, aims to reduce the vulnerability of young women
in India to HIV/AIDS.
Unlike other projects working on HIV prevention in India, CHARCA does not focus only on the most vulnerable
groups (identified in the National AIDS Control Programme Phase II). It addresses the broader context of
young women. Its many-pronged approach aims at: raising women's awareness about reproductive health and rights;
building capacities of young women to negotiate sexual relations; increase access to reproductive health
services and information; facilitate support structures for women; and create an enabling environment for
CHARCA has adopted a 'bottom-up' approach, whereby planning and implementation strategy is decentralised.
The project is, therefore developed, managed and maintained at the individual, family, community and
district levels. As it is community-owned, this ensures long-term sustainability and cost effectiveness
of the project.
Another interesting aspect of the project strategy is the involvement and sensitisation of men and others
in the community to the needs of young women. It works simultaneously to create spaces for discussion,
leadership and joint action for women at various levels.