Workshops Designed for Youth by Youth
Intersecting youth leadership and knowledge exchange between peers
Peer to Peer is a LetsStopAIDS initiative that intersects knowledge exchange and youth leadership.
The programme was created by youth to provide their peers with a stigma-free environment where they have access to information related to sexual health and navigating relationships, that is relevant to their experiences.
When speaking with youth about what they are taught in sex-ed, they share there is a disconnect between what is discussed in the classroom vs. real life experiences. LetsStopAIDS believes that youth need to be at the centre of conversations around programme development to close the gap. That is why peer educators have been at the heart of the programme curation, design, and execution.
The mission is to fill the gap in the curriculum to empower youth to make decisions that are right for them. LetsStopAIDS has been running Peer to Peer programming in schools, universities, and community organizations based in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and we plan to expand nationwide by 2025.
Peer to Peer journey
For over two decades, LetsStopAIDS has strived to uncover the barriers standing in the way of effective HIV & STI knowledge amongst Canadian Youth. We discovered that the conventional student-teacher framework was not the most effective form of communication for addressing these sensitive topics in the classroom, and as a result, teachers and students felt apprehensive discussing important aspects of HIV and STIs. This apprehension, combined with the rising rates of STIs and HIV infections, suggested that something had to be done.
By Youth, For Youth
We decided to develop Peer (to peer) workshops – a gamified, interactive space designed to disrupt the conventional student-teacher framework and increase access to relevant sexual information for Canadian youth. The core concept of P2P revolves around this idea of “By Youth, For Youth”: we wanted to provide youth an opportunity to actively engage as leaders in HIV awareness, while also acting as an effective medium for connecting with their peers.