VPWAS AGM – Letter from the Board

Dear members of the VPWAS community,

First and foremost, we express our gratitude for your participation in this year’s AGM. A lot of exciting, frustrating, empowering and saddening events have taken place since our last meeting. We mourn for, and celebrate, the lives of members lost over the last year and continue to remember the lives of many more, lost since the beginning of the AIDS crisis. In addition, we remain dumbfounded by the incredible work done up until now by the hard-working, compassionate and awe-inducing activists and supporters of the community, some who are in this room, some who couldn’t make it, and many more who continue to exist in our dearest thoughts. It is in their memory and for their foundational work that we strive to actively take space in ameliorating the lives of those in our communities impacted by HIV/AIDS and HCV.

Since our last AGM, we have continued to embark on, and support projects with the other inspiring organizations and initiatives in town. We give our thanks to the great connections and partnerships we have with POSITIVE LIVING BC, SOLID, PEERS, AVI, COOL-AID, HEPCBC, OSHIO COLLEGE, LALLICARE and all the others we have failed to mention here.

As many of you know, our core-funding model was changed this past year to incorporate the Province’s STOP AIDS program. Within the neo-liberal conditions of systemic and chronic underfunding of service providers and peer-based organization, we have been able to secure some extra funding to expand and solidify our peer-navigation process. We thank those who put a lot of time and energy in making our Request For Funding Proposal successful. This success, however, comes with an unfortunate caveat; while we have secured funding to expand our programming and service deliveries, there continues to be significant challenges for our partners and other community organizations in securing funding. We acknowledge their struggles and express our desires to support their ongoing actions to ensure the delivery of services, programming and support does not get impeded by funding cuts and a provincial system that refuses to adequately fund social programs and services. With this in mind, we remember our partnership with VARCS and express gratitude to the organization that has since, been defunded.

As many of you know, we make mistakes and sometimes fail in that which we try to achieve and we acknowledge the benefits of doing so. We will continue to make mistakes and continue to fail with the acceptance and impetus of such acts being transformative. In developing and solidifying our peer navigation program, we invite you to come make mistakes and fail with us. It is our failures and mistakes as individuals, organizations and movements that are the moving catalysts for change; they inform our responses, they provide contexts to our lives and they allow us to envision alternatives and acknowledge our successes. Our biggest failures can potentiate our biggest successes. With this in mind, we will strive to ameliorate our own expressions of community and commit ourselves to centering the voices that, in our work, are most often left in the margins, this includes, but is not limited to women, trans, indigenous, people of color, queer, undocumented, co-infected, people who use drugs, sex workers, poor, and migrant communities. We hope that our failures in centering their voices gives us the motivation to come to our work in a better way.

On behalf of the board of VPWAS, With Care, solidarity and brilliant extravagance,

Piotr Burek, Acting Chair

 

vpwas agm report 2015

 

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Vancouver Island Persons Living With HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS) 205 - 1120 Yates Street, Coast Salish Territories, Victoria, BC. V8V 3M9
Phone: 250.382.7927 | Fax: 250.382.3232 | Toll Free: 1.877.382.7927 | support@vpwas.org | www.vpwas.org |