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Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
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In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
Manny Norman went from a substance abuser to a HIV outreach worker
story

| 12 July 2018

"They gave me hope to come back the next week"

It wasn’t the group meetings, the testing services or the health facilities that attracted Manny Norman, it was the offer of a free subway card and a bite to eat. A friend who was also a substance use told him about the workshops in a basement at a nearby community centre. Manny focused on the subway card which would be worth a few dollars if he sold it on. “I just wanted something to eat,” he says. “I hadn’t eaten in probably 20 hours. And the idea of getting more drugs without stealing sounded good to me.” Thirteen years later and he is still attending the Safety Counts meetings run by Planned Parenthood’s Project Street Beat, and credits them with helping him rebuild a life shattered by drug abuse. At the time, he explains he was neglecting his young family, stealing from them to buy crack cocaine and alcohol. His wife would call the police or lock him out of the home on an almost daily basis. “I was on crack and alcohol, the drugs that led me to dereliction, that led me to stealing, being unmanageable, not responsible, without a care in the world,” he says. “(I) didn’t want to work. I just wanted to feed my drug addiction.” Starting a new life But when he walked into the Safety Counts meetings, he says now, he realised he was among people who understood his life. “They met me where I was at,” he says. “They could tell I was under the influence. They could tell I was hurting, that I wasn’t doing the right thing and they made me feel no less than and no different. They gave me hope to come back the next week.” At first, he just went with the flow, focusing on the food and the subway card, not taking much notice of the services on offer. But eventually, he realised there were other people in the room he had come out the other side and rebuilt their lives. “We talked about harm reduction,” he says. “I could identify with the stories other people were telling. Lying, cheating, stealing, borrowing money knowing you wouldn’t pay it back.” Detox and rehab followed. He used the facilities of the projects mobile medical unit to get himself tested for Hepatitis C and HIV and has managed to stay clean, even training as an HIV outreach worker, and has rebuilt his family life. “It’s a happy home now,” he says. “My daughter got her father back, my wife got her husband back. Most of all I got myself back, thank God.” Without Project Street Beat he says his life would have continued its downward spiral. He would most likely be in prison today. Instead, he works as a supervisor for a cleaning company. And when he bumps into one of his friends from the old days he knows what to do. “When I walk down the street and see someone I know – someone I took drugs with or drank with – I let them know exactly where the mobile might be at,” he said. “I have cards in my pocket I give out to people and let them know this is the new way.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Manny Norman went from a substance abuser to a HIV outreach worker
story

| 25 May 2022

"They gave me hope to come back the next week"

It wasn’t the group meetings, the testing services or the health facilities that attracted Manny Norman, it was the offer of a free subway card and a bite to eat. A friend who was also a substance use told him about the workshops in a basement at a nearby community centre. Manny focused on the subway card which would be worth a few dollars if he sold it on. “I just wanted something to eat,” he says. “I hadn’t eaten in probably 20 hours. And the idea of getting more drugs without stealing sounded good to me.” Thirteen years later and he is still attending the Safety Counts meetings run by Planned Parenthood’s Project Street Beat, and credits them with helping him rebuild a life shattered by drug abuse. At the time, he explains he was neglecting his young family, stealing from them to buy crack cocaine and alcohol. His wife would call the police or lock him out of the home on an almost daily basis. “I was on crack and alcohol, the drugs that led me to dereliction, that led me to stealing, being unmanageable, not responsible, without a care in the world,” he says. “(I) didn’t want to work. I just wanted to feed my drug addiction.” Starting a new life But when he walked into the Safety Counts meetings, he says now, he realised he was among people who understood his life. “They met me where I was at,” he says. “They could tell I was under the influence. They could tell I was hurting, that I wasn’t doing the right thing and they made me feel no less than and no different. They gave me hope to come back the next week.” At first, he just went with the flow, focusing on the food and the subway card, not taking much notice of the services on offer. But eventually, he realised there were other people in the room he had come out the other side and rebuilt their lives. “We talked about harm reduction,” he says. “I could identify with the stories other people were telling. Lying, cheating, stealing, borrowing money knowing you wouldn’t pay it back.” Detox and rehab followed. He used the facilities of the projects mobile medical unit to get himself tested for Hepatitis C and HIV and has managed to stay clean, even training as an HIV outreach worker, and has rebuilt his family life. “It’s a happy home now,” he says. “My daughter got her father back, my wife got her husband back. Most of all I got myself back, thank God.” Without Project Street Beat he says his life would have continued its downward spiral. He would most likely be in prison today. Instead, he works as a supervisor for a cleaning company. And when he bumps into one of his friends from the old days he knows what to do. “When I walk down the street and see someone I know – someone I took drugs with or drank with – I let them know exactly where the mobile might be at,” he said. “I have cards in my pocket I give out to people and let them know this is the new way.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Eric Fairchild has worked at Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat
story

| 11 July 2018

"I was part of the streets...I let them know I understand just how they feel"

A young man stops by a pile of rubbish at the side of the road. He fiddles with an abandoned umbrella, snapping off one of its broken ribs and slipping it into his backpack. Eric Fairchild spots the signs. The HIV prevention specialist greets the man like an old friend. “We got condoms, leaflets, testing right here,” he says standing in front of Planned Parenthood’s mobile medical unit. The man refuses initially, stepping into a nearby grocery store, before returning a few minutes later with his girlfriend to hear about the services on offer. The umbrella rib, says Mr Fairchild later, was a giveaway. It makes a perfect tool for scraping the residue from a substance pipe. Understanding and overcoming Eric has worked for Planned Parenthood for 12 years, using his experience growing up in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Brownsville to help spot others who are in need of help. “I was part of the streets,” he says. “I was a substance abuser. Never injected, but I smoked, sniffed... stuff of that nature.” He has been clean for 26 years but explains that his experiences help him connect with other users. “The first thing I do when I have hardcore substance abusers sitting in front of me, I first show them identification,” he says.  “I let them know I understand just how they feel. I’ve been there feeling hopeless, helpless, confused about where to turn.” Some occasions might mean he has to use the training and education he has received as an outreach worker. Other times it is a case of using his 60 years’ experience of life in Brooklyn. “That’s my benefit to the programme,” he says. “I’m street savvy as well as educated in the classroom. I have the best of both worlds.” Eric already had an extensive background in community work before joining the project, prompted by a desire to learn more about HIV prevention following the death of a relative and a friend died from the illness. He is often the first point of contact for clients, handing out pamphlets on the street corner, conducting HIV tests and explaining Project Beat Street– and the facilities available on the mobile unit to wary newcomers. From there he can offer advice and guidance on other services, from home care managers to sources of funding for people with HIV and setting up appointments at clinics. He follows up with phone calls and meetings, often at every step of a client’s progress. “I saw when they came in,” he says. “I saw them come in from a struggling situation, uncomfortable with their lifestyle at the time. Going from being an unproductive member of society to taking better care of themselves and being in a healthier situation that they were before. I am always happy to know I was part of that process.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Eric Fairchild has worked at Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat
story

| 25 May 2022

"I was part of the streets...I let them know I understand just how they feel"

A young man stops by a pile of rubbish at the side of the road. He fiddles with an abandoned umbrella, snapping off one of its broken ribs and slipping it into his backpack. Eric Fairchild spots the signs. The HIV prevention specialist greets the man like an old friend. “We got condoms, leaflets, testing right here,” he says standing in front of Planned Parenthood’s mobile medical unit. The man refuses initially, stepping into a nearby grocery store, before returning a few minutes later with his girlfriend to hear about the services on offer. The umbrella rib, says Mr Fairchild later, was a giveaway. It makes a perfect tool for scraping the residue from a substance pipe. Understanding and overcoming Eric has worked for Planned Parenthood for 12 years, using his experience growing up in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Brownsville to help spot others who are in need of help. “I was part of the streets,” he says. “I was a substance abuser. Never injected, but I smoked, sniffed... stuff of that nature.” He has been clean for 26 years but explains that his experiences help him connect with other users. “The first thing I do when I have hardcore substance abusers sitting in front of me, I first show them identification,” he says.  “I let them know I understand just how they feel. I’ve been there feeling hopeless, helpless, confused about where to turn.” Some occasions might mean he has to use the training and education he has received as an outreach worker. Other times it is a case of using his 60 years’ experience of life in Brooklyn. “That’s my benefit to the programme,” he says. “I’m street savvy as well as educated in the classroom. I have the best of both worlds.” Eric already had an extensive background in community work before joining the project, prompted by a desire to learn more about HIV prevention following the death of a relative and a friend died from the illness. He is often the first point of contact for clients, handing out pamphlets on the street corner, conducting HIV tests and explaining Project Beat Street– and the facilities available on the mobile unit to wary newcomers. From there he can offer advice and guidance on other services, from home care managers to sources of funding for people with HIV and setting up appointments at clinics. He follows up with phone calls and meetings, often at every step of a client’s progress. “I saw when they came in,” he says. “I saw them come in from a struggling situation, uncomfortable with their lifestyle at the time. Going from being an unproductive member of society to taking better care of themselves and being in a healthier situation that they were before. I am always happy to know I was part of that process.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Manny Norman went from a substance abuser to a HIV outreach worker
story

| 12 July 2018

"They gave me hope to come back the next week"

It wasn’t the group meetings, the testing services or the health facilities that attracted Manny Norman, it was the offer of a free subway card and a bite to eat. A friend who was also a substance use told him about the workshops in a basement at a nearby community centre. Manny focused on the subway card which would be worth a few dollars if he sold it on. “I just wanted something to eat,” he says. “I hadn’t eaten in probably 20 hours. And the idea of getting more drugs without stealing sounded good to me.” Thirteen years later and he is still attending the Safety Counts meetings run by Planned Parenthood’s Project Street Beat, and credits them with helping him rebuild a life shattered by drug abuse. At the time, he explains he was neglecting his young family, stealing from them to buy crack cocaine and alcohol. His wife would call the police or lock him out of the home on an almost daily basis. “I was on crack and alcohol, the drugs that led me to dereliction, that led me to stealing, being unmanageable, not responsible, without a care in the world,” he says. “(I) didn’t want to work. I just wanted to feed my drug addiction.” Starting a new life But when he walked into the Safety Counts meetings, he says now, he realised he was among people who understood his life. “They met me where I was at,” he says. “They could tell I was under the influence. They could tell I was hurting, that I wasn’t doing the right thing and they made me feel no less than and no different. They gave me hope to come back the next week.” At first, he just went with the flow, focusing on the food and the subway card, not taking much notice of the services on offer. But eventually, he realised there were other people in the room he had come out the other side and rebuilt their lives. “We talked about harm reduction,” he says. “I could identify with the stories other people were telling. Lying, cheating, stealing, borrowing money knowing you wouldn’t pay it back.” Detox and rehab followed. He used the facilities of the projects mobile medical unit to get himself tested for Hepatitis C and HIV and has managed to stay clean, even training as an HIV outreach worker, and has rebuilt his family life. “It’s a happy home now,” he says. “My daughter got her father back, my wife got her husband back. Most of all I got myself back, thank God.” Without Project Street Beat he says his life would have continued its downward spiral. He would most likely be in prison today. Instead, he works as a supervisor for a cleaning company. And when he bumps into one of his friends from the old days he knows what to do. “When I walk down the street and see someone I know – someone I took drugs with or drank with – I let them know exactly where the mobile might be at,” he said. “I have cards in my pocket I give out to people and let them know this is the new way.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Manny Norman went from a substance abuser to a HIV outreach worker
story

| 25 May 2022

"They gave me hope to come back the next week"

It wasn’t the group meetings, the testing services or the health facilities that attracted Manny Norman, it was the offer of a free subway card and a bite to eat. A friend who was also a substance use told him about the workshops in a basement at a nearby community centre. Manny focused on the subway card which would be worth a few dollars if he sold it on. “I just wanted something to eat,” he says. “I hadn’t eaten in probably 20 hours. And the idea of getting more drugs without stealing sounded good to me.” Thirteen years later and he is still attending the Safety Counts meetings run by Planned Parenthood’s Project Street Beat, and credits them with helping him rebuild a life shattered by drug abuse. At the time, he explains he was neglecting his young family, stealing from them to buy crack cocaine and alcohol. His wife would call the police or lock him out of the home on an almost daily basis. “I was on crack and alcohol, the drugs that led me to dereliction, that led me to stealing, being unmanageable, not responsible, without a care in the world,” he says. “(I) didn’t want to work. I just wanted to feed my drug addiction.” Starting a new life But when he walked into the Safety Counts meetings, he says now, he realised he was among people who understood his life. “They met me where I was at,” he says. “They could tell I was under the influence. They could tell I was hurting, that I wasn’t doing the right thing and they made me feel no less than and no different. They gave me hope to come back the next week.” At first, he just went with the flow, focusing on the food and the subway card, not taking much notice of the services on offer. But eventually, he realised there were other people in the room he had come out the other side and rebuilt their lives. “We talked about harm reduction,” he says. “I could identify with the stories other people were telling. Lying, cheating, stealing, borrowing money knowing you wouldn’t pay it back.” Detox and rehab followed. He used the facilities of the projects mobile medical unit to get himself tested for Hepatitis C and HIV and has managed to stay clean, even training as an HIV outreach worker, and has rebuilt his family life. “It’s a happy home now,” he says. “My daughter got her father back, my wife got her husband back. Most of all I got myself back, thank God.” Without Project Street Beat he says his life would have continued its downward spiral. He would most likely be in prison today. Instead, he works as a supervisor for a cleaning company. And when he bumps into one of his friends from the old days he knows what to do. “When I walk down the street and see someone I know – someone I took drugs with or drank with – I let them know exactly where the mobile might be at,” he said. “I have cards in my pocket I give out to people and let them know this is the new way.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Eric Fairchild has worked at Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat
story

| 11 July 2018

"I was part of the streets...I let them know I understand just how they feel"

A young man stops by a pile of rubbish at the side of the road. He fiddles with an abandoned umbrella, snapping off one of its broken ribs and slipping it into his backpack. Eric Fairchild spots the signs. The HIV prevention specialist greets the man like an old friend. “We got condoms, leaflets, testing right here,” he says standing in front of Planned Parenthood’s mobile medical unit. The man refuses initially, stepping into a nearby grocery store, before returning a few minutes later with his girlfriend to hear about the services on offer. The umbrella rib, says Mr Fairchild later, was a giveaway. It makes a perfect tool for scraping the residue from a substance pipe. Understanding and overcoming Eric has worked for Planned Parenthood for 12 years, using his experience growing up in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Brownsville to help spot others who are in need of help. “I was part of the streets,” he says. “I was a substance abuser. Never injected, but I smoked, sniffed... stuff of that nature.” He has been clean for 26 years but explains that his experiences help him connect with other users. “The first thing I do when I have hardcore substance abusers sitting in front of me, I first show them identification,” he says.  “I let them know I understand just how they feel. I’ve been there feeling hopeless, helpless, confused about where to turn.” Some occasions might mean he has to use the training and education he has received as an outreach worker. Other times it is a case of using his 60 years’ experience of life in Brooklyn. “That’s my benefit to the programme,” he says. “I’m street savvy as well as educated in the classroom. I have the best of both worlds.” Eric already had an extensive background in community work before joining the project, prompted by a desire to learn more about HIV prevention following the death of a relative and a friend died from the illness. He is often the first point of contact for clients, handing out pamphlets on the street corner, conducting HIV tests and explaining Project Beat Street– and the facilities available on the mobile unit to wary newcomers. From there he can offer advice and guidance on other services, from home care managers to sources of funding for people with HIV and setting up appointments at clinics. He follows up with phone calls and meetings, often at every step of a client’s progress. “I saw when they came in,” he says. “I saw them come in from a struggling situation, uncomfortable with their lifestyle at the time. Going from being an unproductive member of society to taking better care of themselves and being in a healthier situation that they were before. I am always happy to know I was part of that process.” Watch Project Street Beat in action

Eric Fairchild has worked at Planned Parenthood's Project Street Beat
story

| 25 May 2022

"I was part of the streets...I let them know I understand just how they feel"

A young man stops by a pile of rubbish at the side of the road. He fiddles with an abandoned umbrella, snapping off one of its broken ribs and slipping it into his backpack. Eric Fairchild spots the signs. The HIV prevention specialist greets the man like an old friend. “We got condoms, leaflets, testing right here,” he says standing in front of Planned Parenthood’s mobile medical unit. The man refuses initially, stepping into a nearby grocery store, before returning a few minutes later with his girlfriend to hear about the services on offer. The umbrella rib, says Mr Fairchild later, was a giveaway. It makes a perfect tool for scraping the residue from a substance pipe. Understanding and overcoming Eric has worked for Planned Parenthood for 12 years, using his experience growing up in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Brownsville to help spot others who are in need of help. “I was part of the streets,” he says. “I was a substance abuser. Never injected, but I smoked, sniffed... stuff of that nature.” He has been clean for 26 years but explains that his experiences help him connect with other users. “The first thing I do when I have hardcore substance abusers sitting in front of me, I first show them identification,” he says.  “I let them know I understand just how they feel. I’ve been there feeling hopeless, helpless, confused about where to turn.” Some occasions might mean he has to use the training and education he has received as an outreach worker. Other times it is a case of using his 60 years’ experience of life in Brooklyn. “That’s my benefit to the programme,” he says. “I’m street savvy as well as educated in the classroom. I have the best of both worlds.” Eric already had an extensive background in community work before joining the project, prompted by a desire to learn more about HIV prevention following the death of a relative and a friend died from the illness. He is often the first point of contact for clients, handing out pamphlets on the street corner, conducting HIV tests and explaining Project Beat Street– and the facilities available on the mobile unit to wary newcomers. From there he can offer advice and guidance on other services, from home care managers to sources of funding for people with HIV and setting up appointments at clinics. He follows up with phone calls and meetings, often at every step of a client’s progress. “I saw when they came in,” he says. “I saw them come in from a struggling situation, uncomfortable with their lifestyle at the time. Going from being an unproductive member of society to taking better care of themselves and being in a healthier situation that they were before. I am always happy to know I was part of that process.” Watch Project Street Beat in action