© Pexels Nicholas Swatz
Moyo Health and Community Services is a community and AIDS service organization (ASO) that has provided a growing array of health promotion, education, social and support services for people living with, affected by, and at systemic risk of HIV for communities in Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon).
Moyo is a Swahili word that means heart, life, and spirit. These three pillars guide our philosophy and enhance our commitment to the principles of social justice, equity, and inclusion.
As an organization, we aim to focus on the systems, social determinants of health and unique barriers that put communities (PHAs [People Living with HIV/AIDS], women, 2SLGBTQ+, sex workers, African, Caribbean and Black [ACB], People Who Use Drugs [PWUD], newcomers to Canada etc.) at disproportionate risk of health inequities.
Moyo’s program areas aim to increase the capacity of priority populations to improve their sexual health, but they also create safer and more accessible spaces for critical conversations and reflections around the social determinants of sexual health for priority populations. Through this, Moyo is proud and committed to having staff in positions who identify as members of the priority populations they serve and does this through various programs.
The Health Promotion and Prevention Programs team continues to advocate for survivors and allies of Gender-Based Violence, the 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, people living with, at risk of and affected by HIV/AIDS and Newcomer Health in the Peel Region.
Moyo’s Harm Reduction Program has served and worked alongside PWUD for over two decades. Our team conducts outreach in the community to provide harm reduction support to PWUD, including harm reduction and sexual health supply distribution, education, counselling, referral pathways, overdose prevention and response training, and naloxone distribution, along with workshops, trainings, and groups.
Our team is able to build strong, trusting connections in the community, which allows us to get more harm reduction supplies through service users’ social networks. We work closely with other community partners to enhance our collaborative capacity to reduce drug-related harms at the individual, organizational, and structural levels. We are the lead agency in both the Peel Harm Reduction Committee and the Peel Integrated Drug Strategy, which released its Community Consultations and Recommendations Report last year.
This work seeks to bring together key stakeholders, including people with lived experience, to develop and implement a comprehensive drug strategy for Peel. Our community has been deeply impacted by the overdose crisis, with our program losing approximately 93 people who have been engaged with our programming since last April. We are working closely with Public Health and other key stakeholders to bring safe consumption services and other key harm reduction measures to the region.
The Support Program at Moyo is tiny but mighty, made up of our PHA Engagement Coordinator, our ACB Program Coordinator and our Manager of Support Programs. The Support Program serves clients in need of case coordination, counselling and referrals to community and health care providers to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Our bi-weekly PHA drop-ins have become a place where PHA clients can gather to discuss HIV and living through the pandemic and share joy and seek comfort. Reducing HIV stigma has been an important focus of our work through prevention and education.
Our weekly PrEP Clinic is where residents of Peel Region can test for HIV and STBBIs, get vaccinations for Hepatitis C and HPV and get started on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. During the pandemic, Moyo saw that many of our community members struggled with food insecurity.
We responded with a weekly hot meals and frozen meals program and delivered more than 3,500 meals and fresh food boxes. Moyo has become a hub where PHA and ACB communities can take up space and build capacity.
Join Moyo in their mission and donate at moyohcs.ca