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Positive Paid Work was conceived during our group consultation process in the SFU Literacy Lives Community Capacity Building program in September 2011. Recently we became a nonprofit society on January 18, 2012.

Positive Paid Work Society focuses on peer positive employment connections, advocacy, poverty reduction and education for HIV positive people and their employers. We are a unique, working group of DTES students and residents with direct lived experience.

We work as a peer employment agency for our members and a springboard for those desiring to enter mainstream employment. The goal is that we will eventually become a social enterprise.

We are the only peer based employment agency that specifically addresses the needs of HIV positive people in Canada.  Our people are often discriminated from employment opportunities; furthermore they risk stigmatization and marginalization. We identify this as a high priority because having positive paid work will improve well-being, productivity and a new growth of healing in our community.

Positive Paid Work Society provides peer economic and social connections for HIV positive people. Our members have lost their employment or resigned their positions when faced with the dilemma of their illness; need to know their human rights. The United Nations on Human Rights indicates that higher income and social status are linked to better health.  HIV is often considered an episodic health condition but with anti-retroviral medication, folks are able to balance their health and work needs.

Positive Paid Work Society supports our members by helping to inform, liaise and negotiate with potential employers. Having employees with HIV stay in the workforce makes sense. Many people with HIV are between the ages of 25-50 who are skilled and valuable employees in the prime of their working years. Thanks to new medical intervention and holistic care, people are living longer than ever before and are eager to maintain employment, enter or return to the workforce.

 Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East who wrote a letter of support for Positive Paid Work Society says “2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives, declared by the United Nations as a “reminder to the international community that is possible to pursue both economic and social responsibility.” For me, it recognizes many of the services, supports, and relationships we enjoy in the wonderful community of East Vancouver; and that we should continue to look for opportunities to grow as a community that cares for one another.”

We are most proud of our many achievements including our great teamwork within our amazing team! Our community engagement both online and offline connects us with folks locally, nationally and globally.  We have built a website online that has documented our process, with many photos and videos. People can connect with us here , Job Board and through our social media links at Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Vimeo and LinkedIn.

A skills database and job board is being created to help both employers and employees find each other.

Our Positive Paid Work color brochures and business cards helps to keep people connected with us.

Among our HIV literacy projects for community engagement, we created our Christmas Children Graphic Novel, and are now working on our  Positive Thoughts for Positive Paid Workers and our Positive Paid Work Cook Book for a fundraiser to show people that you can balance your health and work needs!

We are happy to provide peer support and advocacy for people who have lost their jobs and help them with resume and job searching.

   Knowing that we truly have made a difference in people’s lives makes our project at Positive Paid Work Society worthwhile!

To read more of how we began please continue below…

This website is the collaborative efforts of students from the Community Capacity Building Program from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and is one of our community projects!

Dan Wilson writes:

We are trying to accomplish empowerment of HIV positive people by helping them fit back into society and to socially involve them with positive feedback and positive paid work!

It will empower HIV + people to be more self sufficient, improve their self-esteem and integrate better in our community Through peer to peer collaboration and networking, we hope to enhance some of the skills a person needs to be employed, return some self-discipline and self awareness as well as showing an HIV + person that being positive doesn’t mean you have be totally dependent on society! We aim to help HIV + people regain their trust, pride and dignity through positive paid work!

Our Community Capacity Building Program is part of Literacy Lives , an applied community-based literacy, HIV/AIDS and peer support program for HIV-positive populations who experience difficulty accessing primary health care.

Our Certificate in Community Capacity Building  Skills for Strengthening community health is: An Integrative Model for Applied Community-based Literacy in inner-city Environments

This pilot program is designed for learners who are passionate about creating positive community change in the area of HIV and community health. Learners will strengthen their essential skills and knowledge about community building while working with a cohort of other community members to choose, design, implement and evaluate a community project. The program’s design recognizes the strength and value of diverse learning styles and experiences, and places an emphasis on experiential and authentic learning opportunities.

Our curriculum for the program is made up of three core pieces:

  1. HIV and social determinants of health;
  2. literacy and essential skills; and
  3. the theory and practice of community capacity building.

Learning will happen within the context of community-based work: learners will identify, plan, implement and evaluate community projects that address key needs in their communities, and that capture something they feel passionate about.

Within the Literacy Lives project, community projects will be focused on HIV and social determinants of health.

The Certificate in Community Capacity Building is a pilot program designed for learners who are passionate about creating positive community change in the area of HIV and community health

We are excited about the following during our University experience!

Learners in the program will:

Make a positive difference in their communities.

Learn more of the essential skills and tools needed to effect positive change.

Learn more about HIV and community health.

Learners who complete the 26-week program will earn a Certificate in Community Capacity Building and become an alumnus of Simon Fraser University.

Hendrik with our AMAZING instructor Jo!

This website was created and is maintained by April Smith of AHA MEDIA -Vancouver-based Social media professionals that produce content, document and promote events

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