Young people are constantly being told they hold the key to the future.
Head and Hands, an organization established in 1971, shares that ideology and aims to create a world of socially conscious youths.
Head and Hands’ principle goal is to promote physical and mental well-being for youths. Among other initiatives, it aims to remove the stigma usually associated with AIDS testing and raise awareness for World AIDS Day.
Head and Hands “is preventative, non-judgmental, and holistic with a fundamental commitment to providing an environment that welcomes youth without discrimination.”
In the past, it has offered-and still offers-many services, such as counselling, tutorial programs, food pantry, winter holiday baskets, medical clinics and health education workshops, legal clinics, legal education, a young parent program and a drop-in centre.
All of these activities are confidential and free of charge.
Head and Hands’ priority for the next month is World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec. 1.
Head and Hands will tour many Montreal high schools during the week preceding World AIDS Day to advocate a “preventative and art-based education” for students concerning an illness that is still feared, disregarded and misunderstood by many.
The organization will give away informational packages related to HIV/AIDS, which include origami condom wallets, awareness stickers and posters.
More importantly, they will educate students about the dangers of unprotected sex.
The most important event Head and Hands is organizing will be held Dec. 1, 2006. It will be an anonymous HIV testing day to try to eliminate the stigma associated with AIDS.
This event will be held from 4:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Head and Hands’ office at 5833 Sherbrooke St. West. Would-be participants are advised to arrive early.
Head and Hands recognizes that many youths are too embarrassed to be tested for HIV/AIDS, which is why the event is held.
Those who are tested will receive freebies such as awareness stickers, condoms, and red lollipops, and will have the satisfaction of knowing they did the right thing by getting tested.
For World AIDS Day, Head and Hands will team up with another organization, Lip Zine, a Montreal-based group who perform live poetry readings to inspire love of the arts, to march to the Vend