SAARA's Recovery Community Expands to India

SAARA of Virginia's work centers on educational training to build community-based support systems and mobilize Virginians to work with our legislators to establish more effective systems of care for Substance Use Disorder (SUD). But the human need for recovery resources stretches far beyond Virginia.

We’ve been given the opportunity to work with VCU on the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, an extension of the Fulbright Program. In order to foster a space where we are sharing knowledge and approaches to working in the recovery space, SAARA is excited to welcome two Humphrey fellows this year.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings accomplished professionals from selected countries of Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Eurasia to the United States at a midpoint in their careers for a year of study and related applicable professional experiences. Fellows are nominated by US Embassies or Fulbright Commissions based on their potential for leadership and their work done in public and private sectors. The program provides a basis for establishing long-lasting meaningful relationships between people and organizations in the U.S. and their professional counterparts in other countries.

Our first fellow is an officer of the Indian Police Service based in the state of Punjab, India. Since 2017, he has been head of the special task force in charge of monitoring the Comprehensive Action against Drug Abuse (CADA) strategy of the Punjab Government. The CADA strategy consists of the government helping those seeking recovery by providing medication assisted treatment, counselling and peer support under the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) program. Anyone seeking recovery are provided these services free of cost at any one of India’s government-run centers.

The Humphrey Fellowship Program also focuses on a broad range of health dilemmas with an emphasis on understanding the behavioral, psychological, social and cultural factors that affect people’s health and livelihood, and the use of behavior change interventions to promote positive health outcomes. Our fellow's time with the program will be spent focusing on substance use treatment and prevention and aims to improve SUD treatment, recovery, and prevention programs in India.

We are ecstatic to build our team and continue to build these relationships that extend far beyond borders and the program itself.