The “therapeutic community” principles of Freedom as well as the experiential leadership development tools are used by the Freedom staff and volunteers to unleash creativity, transformation and to bring in measureable fruit.
Most of Freedom staff members are recovering drug users and many of its clients went public about their own life changing experience. In addition Freedom has a growing network of relations among legislators, media, religious leaders and top academic leaders, this position Freedom in a unique position to impact the culture on issues relating to drug users, people living with HIV, HIV most at risk populations and vulnerable women.
Freedom work contributes to HIV and HCV harm reduction, crime reduction and basic conditions of human rights to the ostracised and marginalized. Of interest in this context is the recent rise of the activities of “thugs” attacking political protesters in particular and the citizens at large. Most of these thugs were noticed to be drug users. Freedom workers did reach a number of those and served them, this may indirectly contribute to political stability.
The whole process will culminate in the Freedom advocacy efforts to reshape the laws, policies and media messaging in the nation. The executive director of the Freedom Drugs and HIV Programme- is also a well-known human rights activist and A Social Democratic politician, he was elected as a member of the Shura Council (upper chamber of the Egyptian parliament) and was chosen by his peers to be the President of the Human Rights Committee. He managed to put the Human Rights of MARPs on the Parliament agenda. Through the empowerment of ex-drug users and marginalized people groups, Freedom multileveled advocacy efforts established bridges between these populations and key decision makers in Egypt.
The advancement in the living conditions and empowerment of marginalized people groups served by Freedom enabled them to advocate for their basic human rights (right to life, health, accommodation and work) creating an enabling and supporting environment. It provides a major back up to the wider advocacy and legal reform efforts in the face of a conservative wave that may lead to a penalizing and ultimately a more human rights violating environment. Evidence informed humane and rights based effective approaches are badly needed in this moment of Egyptian history. With no allocated funds the regional and national TV stations, newspapers are likely to cover Freedom activities regularly and help promote and protect the rights of the forgotten.