Positive Programs

Since 1994, youth living with HIV have been a key part of YoutuhCO's work. Hep C was added to our mandate in the 2000s. Currently, our programs engage mostly with youth living with HIV, and we’re working to better meet the needs of youth who have Hep C. 

YouthCO offers peer education and support for youth living with HIV and Hep C! We connect with youth under 30 across what is now called British Columbia, in-person and online. These programs are free, and we can travel to you or help you travel to us!

Youth living with HIV help shape all our programs, including Mpowerment and Yúusnewas. Poz Programs is a dedicated space for youth living with HIV and/or Hep C, and is a space where everyone shares this experience. Our programs focus on peer education, leadership, and peer support for youth throughout British Columbia.

Monthly Meetups

We offer peer-led monthly meetups for youth living with HIV and/or Hep C! Each meet up includes food, peer education, and an activity or an outing! Past meetups have included making scarves, going on a hike, and dinner out at a restaurant.

Leadership Opportunities

YouthCO's vision is for youth to lead within the HIV and Hep C movement! One way we do that is by providing leadership opportunities for youth living with HIV and Hep C. If you're interested in these leadership opportunities or have other ideas, please get in touch to let us know!

  • YouthCO's Core Training program for youth to learn about our values and approaches to HIV and Hep C
  • Planning and hosting peer events across British Columbia
  • Participating in the Positive Leadership Development Institute led by the Pacific AIDS Network
  • Advising and guiding research projects and campaigns involving youth throughout British Columbia
  • Serving on the YouthCO Board
  • Participating in national and provincial forums and/or conferences for people or youth living with HIV
  • Speaking publicly about our experiences living with HIV and/or with YouthCO programs to various audiences, including service providers and health professionals

Camp Moomba

Camp Moomba offers peer support and peer education to youth, aged 6-17 years, living with HIV or who have a close family member who is living with HIV. Youth living with HIV are encouraged to be part of making camp possible, whether as group leaders, nurses, or our peer education team.

Youth Clinics

For youth aged 14-19 and 11-13 years, we partner with Oak Tree Clinic to offer 4 youth groups each year that combine a clinical visit with food, music, peer education on a topic chosen by youth, and an outing in the Lower Mainland. These groups are open to all youth living with HIV who are 19 years old and younger. If you're interested, let us know by emailing info@youthco.org. 

Financial Supports

British Columbia youth who are living with HIV are eligible for financial supports and scholarships up to a maximum of $1,000. Full details about our financial supports can be found at www.youthco.org/scholarships.

Youth living with Hep C are welcome to some of our programs below, and are encouraged to get in touch with us to help us create more Hep C programming. We have an intro booklet about Hep C available online and in print! If you'd like a print copy, let us know!

  • Saturday, March 07, 2020 at 08:00 AM through March 08, 2020
    Evans Lake Camp

    Winter Camp

    We are so excited to be hosting winter camp, March 7 & 8, at Evans Lake! This is a free program for youth from ages 6 to 17 years old who are living with, or impacted by HIV, in British Columbia!! We hope to see many familiar faces and welcome new folks over the weekend. 

    We’ll be spending the weekend at Evans Lake in Squamish, BC. During the weekend, we are planning to pack in as much fun as possible!! Campers will have choices around different indoor and outdoor activities throughout the weekend and lots of "friends together having fun!" To make this come to life, we have community agreements in place that everyone at camp, includilng staff and volunteers, follow. Click here to check them out!

    Camper Information

    Camper registrations are due on January 31, 2020! This will help us ensure we can put together a strong volunteer team. Please let us know on or before Janury 31st if you would like to come to Camp Moomba!

    RETURNING CAMPERS: complete this one page permission form, and give the office (604-688-1441) a call to ensure all health and emergency information is up-to-date!

    NEW CAMPRES: complete this registration form (give us a call if you'd like some help!) and return it to the office by January 31st, 2020.

    We have community agreements in place that everyone at camp, includilng staff and volunteers, follow. Click here to check them out!

    To contact a camper during camp, please call 604-684-1701.

    Volunteer Information

    We believe that youth are best positioned to connect with our peers on topics related to HIV stigma. Many of the youth at Camp Moomba are Black or Indigenous, and we strongly encourage applications from Black and Indigenous youth, as well as youth living with HIV, or youth who are impacted by HIV. We strongly encourage youth who are under the age of 25, living with HIV or Hep C, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Two-Spirit, queer, trans, non-binary, and/or living with disabilities to apply.

    Camp Moomba volunteers are people who are connected to the Camp Moomba or YouthCO, through shared experiences or our Core Training program, and are excited to work with youth from ages 6 to 17! All volunteers must complete a criminal record check at YouthCO's expense. 

    Volunteers must also be available for training on February 22 (9:30-3pm for new folks!; 9:30-12pm for returning volunteers!), committed to a weekend with very little cell coverage and no WIFI, and a phone-free space for campers, and are able to follow our community agreements. Click here to check them out!

    At camp, most of our volunteers are Group Leaders, who do the following:

    • Actively participate in camp life and camp activities – early mornings, chilly swims, and clean up included!
    • Attend to campers’ wellbeing needs in ability-appropriate ways to ensure campers’ physical, emotional, social, medical and nutritional needs are being met:
    • Supporting campers in getting adequate nutrition and sleep (e.g. facilitating bed time and meal time at appropriate energy levels)
    • Support positive camper group dynamics to ensure a positive experience for all campers
    • Using active supervision to create a fun and safe environment, including role modelling and encouraging positive relationships, and addressing concerning behaviours such as bullying
    • Manage camper behaviour, including role modelling camp appropriate behaviour and addressing concerns with the Camp Director
    • Assist with camp-wide programming
    • Provide leadership and role modeling to all staff and campers
    • Attend and participate in Camp Moomba trainings, including YouthCO Core Training (if not already completed) and Camp Moomba training (February 22)

    The full position description is here! If this sounds like you, please complete our application form!

    If you are interested in coming to Camp Moomba as a nurse, check out the position description here, and please complete our application form!

    Do you have questions about the upcoming program, or becoming a volunteer? Contact Jessica and Sarah at moomba@youthco.org, or call 604-684-1701.

  • Monday, March 23, 2020 at 09:00 AM through March 28, 2020
    Springbrooke Retreat Centre in Langley, BC, Canada

    First Directions

    This event is located on the traditional territory of the S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), W̱SÁNEĆ and Kwantlen.

    First Directions is a free program for Indigenous youth in British Columbia. During First Directions, youth travel to Langley, BC, and will stay in shared accommodations with other Indigenous youth, supervised by YouthCO staff.

    Download the .pdf application form here. Or, download a Word version here. Applications will be accepted until the program is full - please apply as soon as possible to ensure your participation!

    At First Directions, we bring Indigenous youth together from across the province to develop short videos on topics youth choose related to Indigenous youth health and wellness. During First Directions, a group of 15-25 Indigenous youth will:

    • Travel to a shared accommodation retreat centre in Langley, BC, supervised by the Yúusnewas staff team

    • Receive training on HIV, sexual health, harm reduction, and how colonization has affected our health—and what we can do about it

    • Learn how to create a video, including how to use film equipment, create a storyboard, and edit their work

    • Working in small groups, develop a film on a topic of their choice related to Indigenous youth health and wellness

    After First Directions, Indigenous youth will receive a copy of their final video in the mail or by pick up at the YouthCO Office. 

    YouthCO will cover travel costs to and from the workshop as well as meals and accommodations during the training to participants whose applications are accepted. We will work with families and communities to ensure safe transportation for all youth. 

    As Indigenous youth we are talking about issues that affect our people so that we can share information with our friends and relatives about taking care of our bodies. With colonization and residential schools, a lot of our ancestral ways of taking care of ourselves were lost. We are determined to empower young Indigenous leaders to reclaim our bodies and teachings. 

    So, what is "Indigenous youth health & wellness"?

    Indigenous youth health and wellness can look like a lot of things, some we may have not even thought about before now:

    • Learning about our bodies and identities, free of shame

    • Considering the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical aspects of taking care of our bodies and sexuality

    • Being comfortable with who we are

    • Having the information and tools to make decisions that are right for us

    • The right to access birth control, sexual health, and harm reduction supplies that suits our needs and lives

    • And so much more!

    How to apply

    Applications will be accepted until the program is full! Please apply as soon as possible to ensure your participation!

    1. Download the .pdf application form here. Or, download a Word version here. 

    2. Fill out the application form (pages 2, 3, 4 & 5)

      • If you are under 18 years old, you will need permission to participate from your caregiver, whether that is a family member or a social worker.

      • The Yúusnewas team can help you fill this out! If you need access to a computer, printer, or scanner, give us a call at 604-688-1441, or connect with us on Facebook or Instagram.

    3. Complete photo/video release so we can show your videos to various audiences (page 7). For youth under 18, your caregiver, parent, guardian, or social worker will need to complete this form.

    4. Give your application to the YouthCO team by mail, dropping off in person, or by email on or before February 21, 2020! Applications will be accepted until the program is full! Please apply as soon as possible to ensure your participation!

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!