On September 25-28, 2009 another milestone took place in the HIV/AIDS movement, the first ever formalized PHA Leadership Development Training Level I was held for four days at Loon Lake outside of Maple Ridge here in BC. Eighteen PHA’s (People living with HIV/AIDS) from within BC participated and received certificates for their active participation in a training which centered on; identifying their personal values and philosophies in the area of leadership, developing leadership skills as well as gaining community knowledge and awareness.
The participants brought a wealth of historical HIV/AIDS knowledge and demonstrated leadership attributes to the table. I was extremely proud of the contribution of the leadership participants and their steadfast participation throughout the weekend given the lengthy days. This training was made possible through an interprovincial effort between the Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) and the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN).
As a Leadership Development facilitator-in-training,I am grateful to Thomas Egdorf and Ed Argo, OAN Facilitators, for the mentorship they gave me and my fellow Facilitator-In-Training Kath Webster. We were given responsibilities for areas of the weekend curriculum that were both challenging and rewarding which helped me grow as a leader and facilitator. This program can only flourish in BC given the quality and quantity of PHA leaders that exist in community.