Living in the 21st century, we tend to have a perspective that the world has moved forward, that people have accepted all other individuals on this planet. But is this the truth? Each and every person in this Universe is unique in their own sense; ranging from the clothes one wears or the community that one belongs to; EDUCATION is a key factor when it comes to becoming AWARE of what affects our lives and the lives of people around us.
Along those same lines, in September 2016, the Community Engagement Coordinator, Natasha Darko at The AIDS Committee of York Region, decided to give birth to her brain child i.e. Youth Sexual Health Action Committee (YSHAC). The intention of this committee, which is a youth-based volunteer-run program, is to specifically serve education, harm reduction, sex positivity, and to advocate and act as a resource to the youth of York Region aged 17-24 years regarding sexual health.
The members of the committee will attend training under a series of workshops which will be covering topics such as information regarding HIV/AIDS, STIs, LGBTQ awareness and the stigma attached to it, and the understanding of violence against women. The purpose of these workshops is to create knowledge and awareness amongst YSHAC members before they go out into the community to engage with others. Members of YSHAC commit to believe in and stand behind the objectives and core values, which are defined as:
- To network with Committee members to share knowledge, best practices and resources
- To raise awareness of sexual health needs of youth in York Region
- To provide Committee members with necessary tools to promote STI and HIV awareness
- To plan and develop a sexual health awareness campaign for youth in York Region
YSHAC Core Values:
- Being trustworthy
- Having open and honest dialogue
- Accepting diversity
- Having an approachable attitude
- Promoting cultural sensitivity
- Anti- racism
- And last but not least, teamwork
How to get involved:
Contact the program coordinator to get more information about the group or to volunteer.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Tel: 905-884-0613, Ext. 207
Join YSHAC on Facebook!
By Zahra Rajwani
Zahra is currently a student placement with the AIDS Committee of York Region via the Seneca College Social Service Work program. She is also a committee member of the Youth Sexual Health Action Committee