The team at Youth Without Limits took the opportunity to fill us in about the great work they are doing at the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC, recipient of Vancouver’s Access and Inclusion award. Stacey Francis has been a strong advocate for youth living with cerebral palsy, and is now coordinating a peer program! Stacey graciously answered our questions about the group.
Here is a video we worked on with Cuystwi, a culturally-relevant suicide prevention program for Aboriginal youth.
For many of us, learning about and having a pride in our culture helps us to achieve our wellness.
Tess Arguile, one of our YouthCO volunteers, created this short video based on our position statement opposing the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure.
Each year, World AIDS Day is a time to remember the history of our movement, recognize the many people who have helped to support those of us living with HIV, share information about prevention and testing, and support people living with HIV. This day also marks the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week.
At YouthCO, peer support is our thing. We've been building awesome communities of youth who connect with each other since 1994, and we aren't about to stop now. Along with the HIV Disclosure Project, and the Canadian Positive People's Network, we are working to develop a workshop for youth living with HIV to talk about disclosing our HIV status.
Today is World Sexual Health Day.
At YouthCO, We love that we get to do important work of talking to our peers about sex every day. Even better, we have these conversations in factual and honest ways that resist shame and stigma, colonizing ideas about sexual and gender identity, and assumptions that we are all heterosexual, cisgender, and HIV-negative. The goal of our work in sex education is to support our peers in getting the information we need to make decisions that are right for us.
As many of you know, YouthCO has been working closely with Camp Moomba, as we share a mandate to support young people impacted by HIV. Over the past several years YouthCO staff and members have offered peer education and support at camp as we share a community of members, friends and supporters. Since 1997, the Moomba Society has been focused on enhancing the lives of children and youth through the Camp Moomba summer program. The secondary focus of Moomba is to provide year-round programming for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. For 18 years, youth living with and affected by HIV have found community and gained adventure and leadership skills through attending camp.
New Fire, a CBC program, interviewed Jessica St. Jean about her work with YouthCO's Yúusnewas program as part of an episode on romance and tradition.
We were disappointed to hear of yet another case of HIV-non-disclosure criminalization from Missouri this week where a young man was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Many people and organizations based in the United States are leading ongoing advocacy to oppose the criminalization of Michael Johnson. Media coverage in the United States has more details about this case.
YouthCO welcomes the recent announcement from The Honourable Health Minister Terry Lake that British Columbia will expand its free HPV vaccination program to include vulnerable boys and young men. We are excited to know that many of the youth we work with will soon be able to access HPV vaccinations as part of this expansion.
Today's announcement is an important step towards equitable access to HPV vaccinations for those of us who need them.
YouthCO's Executive Director, Jesse, was in the studio at GlobalBC speaking about our reaction to the announcement that BC will expand access to the HPV vaccine to include vulnerable boys and men up to the age of 26.