At the end of 2015, the funding for the YEP Project ceased and a lot of people in the youth and SHBBV sector where wondering where YEP was going to go. The Department of Health (DoH) contract was up for tender again, and luckily enough – and after a lot of hard work – YACWA was successful in winning back the contract! The team here at YACWA were so excited and happy that we got YEP back, as this has been one of YACWA’s flagship – and most – successful youth programs.
Since then, there was a bit a of a lag with getting the new YEP Project up and running, it took a little while to hire a new YEP Project Officer. Then at the end of April 2016, Anania Tagaro came on board with YACWA as the new YEP Project Officer. Anania came over from Save the Children here in Perth, where she was the Senior Project Officer on The South East Corridor Youth Partnership Project (YPP), which is a Collective Impact that aims to bring together young people, the youth sector, communities, the NGO sector and government to work better together to improve outcomes for children, young people, families and communities within the South East Corridor of Perth. As soon as she came on board, Anania was extremely enthusiastic and had a whole lot of great (crazy) ideas of how to get the project up and running again.
The project has been going for about three months now, and a lot of ‘stuff’ has happened in the process. First off, YEP got approval from DoH to actually hire and PAY the YEP Crew Peer Educators as casual staff, which is extremely exciting. YEP believes that if we actually officially acknowledge the invaluable amount of time, lived experiences and expertise of the young people we have as part of the YEP Crew, then we will get more quality, consistent and impactful work together. Furthermore, YACWA believes that without the genuine input of young people in our work, then we’re doing little in the way of empowering the young people in our communities.
From May-July 2016, YEP was in the process of recruiting 12 new YEP Crew Peer Educators. We finalised the crew just recently, and we’re proud to say that we have a diverse range of young people from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences. We hope that with a diverse YEP Crew, we are able to successfully engage with young people from different groups and communities.
On July 22-24, the YEP Crew will be going on an awesome and exciting Training Retreat Weekend down at Serpentine Retreat Centre. At this Retreat, they will be undertaking training and workshops on topics such as Drugs & Alcohol, Youth Mental Health, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness, CaLD Cultural Awareness, Digital Engagement, Facilitation, and of course, Youth SHBBV. The YEP Crew will also be doing fun stuff like yoga, walks and team building activities. This is a great opportunity for all the Peer Educators to get to know each other, and be inspired from one another.
Then in September, the YEP Crew will also be undertaking SHQ’s Nuts & Bolts Training, to get them up to speed on all things youth and SHBBV stuff. YEP’s been partnering with SHQ (formerly FPWA & SRHWA) for a number of years, and it’s so great to keep this partnership with them. But from now on, the YEP Crew will be out and about ‘shadowing’ Youth Educators from organisations like WAAC and Hepatitis WA to get a feel of how to engage young people in conversations about SHBBV issues. They will also be attending health expos and youth fairs to spread the word about YEP and disseminate positive sexual health messages. Check out the members of our YEP Crew by visiting our ‘Meet the Team’ page on this website.
Secondly, YEP is hoping to develop a simple, but robust Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) framework and Curriculum. We’ve partnered with SiREN who is helping us capture and understand the impact of our work, which would be extremely helpful in ensuring that we are always trying to improve the quality of the project. We’re also developing a more structured YEP Curriculum that the YEP Crew Peer Educators are able to deliver to young people throughout the communities, and we’re doing this in partnership with members of our amazing Reference Group. The YEP Crew will be trained on the Curriculum, and once they’re ready, they’ll be going out to groups of young people in the community to deliver their workshops.
YEP has also been in the process of developing this new website and an introductory ‘YEP’ Video with YACWA’s marketing and communications partner, Loaded Communications. We will be launching both during our presentation at the upcoming 2016 Fairgrounds Conference here in Perth. So please keep coming back to us here at www.theyepproject.org.au for more blog posts, news, info, resources, events and other things youth SHBBV stuff here in WA!!!
If you would like to know more about YEP, or want us to come out to you, please contact Anania on email@example.com or call 0406 648 865.