We have exciting news: here at YouthCO, we have a new Shared Leadership Plan!
A Shared Leadership Plan is a tool that organizations can use to enable all people at all levels within an organization to take part in leadership, and is YouthCO's take on a strategic plan. Instead of leaving leadership decisions to only one or two people within an organization, a Shared Leadership Plan is built through conversations with everyone who works at YouthCO and our Board of Directors, so we can all decide together what our priorities should be. Putting our Shared Leadership Plan in writing, as we have below, gets us all on the same page about what our shared goals are and helps enable everyone in our organization, from volunteers to staff to board, to take a leadership role in activities and projects that are connect with our collective vision.
The best place to get up-to-date information about novel coronavirus COVID-19 is the BC Centre for Disease Control at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19.
If we need medical care related to COVID-19 because we think we may have been exposed to, or are experiencing, symptoms of COVID-19, we can call 8-1-1. We can also use the self-assessment at https://covid19.thrive.health/.
For non-medical information about COVID-19, we can call 1-800-COVID19 for information in more than 110 languages. We can also get information about COVID-19 from the Public Health Agency of Canada by calling the telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397.
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YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society expresses our solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and their jurisdiction and governance in Unist’ot’en, Gidimt’en, and across their unceded territory. As an organization of both settler and Indigenous youth, YouthCO calls on the governments of BC and Canada, the RCMP, and Coastal GasLink to stop current actions against Wet’suwet’en land, Wet’suwet’en people, and Wet’suwet’en ways of being. We ask that the federal and provincial government, the RCMP, and Coastal GasLink respect the free prior and informed consent protocol of Wet’suwet’en, and the traditional ways the Wet’suwet’en relate to the land at Unist’ot’en.
The BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act is an important step by the provincial government to affirm and implement the self-determination of Indigenous peoples. As an organization led by youth most impacted by HIV and Hep C, we welcome this legislation that affirms the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is relevant here in what we now call BC, to support the implementation of UNDRIP, and to affirm Indigenous governance models. We look forward to its implementation as part of our work to create and support Indigenous youth leadership within HIV and Hep C movements.
Meet Tyler Robinson! Tyler is part of YouthCO's Poz Programs team, and works one-on-one with youth living with HIV who live in the Fraser region.
First Directions was back at it again this March, and this year's group of youth made three videos on important topics! With the support of the First Nations Health Authority, and the MAC AIDS Fund, we hosted another group of creative, outstanding, Indigenous youth from across BC.
We are passionate about finding the right youth to lead in our organization: youth who are committed to always learning about our values, youth who are part of the communities we work with, and youth who share our commitment to reducing the impact of HIV and Hep C stigma. Our hiring process is designed to help us find youth who will help us further our mission, connect with people in our communities, and excel in our workplace! We care most about finding people who connect with our communities, not the letters that go after your name. We love receiving awesome job applications, and we want to share some of the things we look for when reading your application to help you make it as amazing as possible.
At YouthCO, we’ve been getting a lot of excitement and questions about the media coverage of the "London patient," a man who who has recently been cured of HIV as a result of treatment for lymphoma (a type of cancer).
This person was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor who has an HIV resistant gene mutation, which meant HIV could no longer survive in his body. While articles from HIV organizations have put this information into context for those of us living with HIV (like this one from a UK HIV organization, NAM - the HIV/AIDS information charity, and this post from CATIE), a lot of articles in the general media are quite misleading and sensationalize the topic - especially for those of us only reading the headline.
This makes it difficult for youth to figure out what this news means for our every day, and what it means for those of us living with HIV. In taking a bit of time to digest this information, our big takeaway is this: today’s work still has to be focused on reducing the inequities and stigma youth living with HIV experience now. At the same time, we'll continue to look ahead to other medical innovations like longer-acting HIV medications alongside important HIV cure work like this current report.
We're so pleased to share some great news: the Provincial Health Services Authority has decided to fund a new project at YouthCO. As of this summer, YouthCO has dedicated funding to improve HIV and Hep C services for trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit youth.