Annual Youth-HIV Entrepreneurial Competition
No matter how small or big, it's a chance to make your dream project come true
The Winning Seed is a programme designed to give an opportunity for young people to start their own HIV initiative with the help of funding and mentorship by LetsStopAIDS, and our partners.
This project believes in young people and their ideas and energy to make a difference within their communities. The Winning Seed encourages youth to come up with innovative projects that are centered around sustainable development goals 3,4, and 10. The winning contestants are awarded with prize money to start their initiative.
By supporting young leaders and their bright ideas, The Winning Seed goes beyond a mere competition - it is a step towards fostering youth leadership and community outreach.
In 2021, LetsStopAIDS created The Winning Seed as an opportunity for Canadian youth to demonstrate their newly acquired leadership skills from NoTimeToWait. At its core, The Winning Seed was conceptualised to be a vehicle for youth innovation and a platform for fostering creative solutions within HIV/AIDS advocacy. We believe that youth leadership plays a key role in achieving the UNAIDS goal of zero new infections by 2030, and we wanted to do our part by removing barriers for the next generation of entrepreneurs – namely financial costs and professional expertise.
Creating Safe Spaces in Doctor Places
The first ever winner of The Winning Seed was Carly Gregory with her campaign Creating Safe Spaces in Doctor Places. Carly noticed that a lot of Canadian youth struggled with finding HIV-knowledgeable healthcare providers and clinics, and wanted to bridge this gap within healthcare accessibility. Her initiative was to create a resource website for HIV-affected youth seeking stigma-free healthcare, which involved a research phase exploring which practices were most successful in delivering HIV care within Toronto clinics.
WELLUS for ACCESS
Wellness and Equity for Life Science Undergraduate Students (WELLUS) was started by Eunice Aluko, Abraham Aluko, and Dileesha Fernando as a student club focused on bringing awareness to healthcare inequities faced by marginalised student communities. The original goal of this project was to promote awareness surrounding social determinants of health, and to address the unique healthcare barriers faced by racialized groups and those of lower socioeconomic status. The club was then brought forth to NoTimeToWait, where the students expanded their discussion to incorporate an intersectional approach towards HIV-related issues. Their pitch involved bridging cultural gaps within sexual wellness through research and local partnerships in the hopes of addressing the disproportionate impact that HIV has on marginalised communities.
SexWell was conceptualised by Arihant Boli and Shivam Amati as a personalised healthcare app designed to provide solutions towards HIV prevention and education. The app included functionalities such as medication tracking and connection resources with sexual therapists, but placed an especially heavy emphasis on developing a personalised profile for each user based on their unique sexual needs (such as condom usage, birth control, PrEP and more). In an effort to promote comprehensive sexual education, SexWell is being developed with the specific intention of targeting youth through empowerment and providing resources.