Our Shared Leadership Plan

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.

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Facts not fear: COVID-19

**YouthCO staff are currently working from home and our office location is closed. Phone calls are being forwarded to or staff team.**

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 is postponing all in-person events, and working hard to move our programs online as soon as possible. We will follow public health advice in regards to in-person programming and work.

YouthCO will follow the measures suggested and required by the provincial and federal governments throughout the response to COVID-19 in ways that centre our mission and our values.

At this time, we continue to offer support to youth living with HIV and/or Hep C, and encourage youth living with these viruses to get in touch for peer education or peer support needs during this time by calling 1-855-968-8426, or emailing info@youthco.org.
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Unist'ot'en Solidarity Statement

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.

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Moomba Magic 2020

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YouthCO welcomes the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

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.

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Youth Worker in Fraser!

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.

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Celebrating Indigenous Youth Voices & Reclaiming Our Bodies

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.

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Ways to ace your (YouthCO) job application

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.

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What do youth have to say about the London Patient?

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.

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Hep C & HIV Services for Trans, Non-Binary, and Two-Spirit Youth

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.

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YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!