As we move into 2024, it is only fitting to take a moment and reflect on the incredible journey we've shared with our community in 2023. The impact of Moyo’s initiatives, commitment to community well-being, and dedicated team have left an incredible mark on Peel region.
Let's take a look at some of the highlights that made 2023 a memorable year for community engagement and empowerment at Moyo.
Steve Gould, our PHA Engagement Coordinator shared some of the wonderful things he heard when providing grocery boxes to clients.
One mother who shared her gratitude said,"It was so nice to get some help especially around the holidays, I didn’t have the funds to do much and so getting the food helped free up money to be able to buy a little tree and decorate for my daughter.” Another grateful client expressed their thankfulness for Moyo’s services by saying "You guys are the best! Thank you for always thinking of me and putting me on the list. I know I am not the easiest to reach and get a hold of to deliver to butI am so grateful you guys continue to work with me and get me connected to stuff.”
Vaishnavi Koujalagi is our Gender Based Violence Coordinator. She hosted Moyo’s GBV Symposium on November 23rd,2023 and had this to say: "If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope and spread happiness, you will fill yourself with hope and happiness. To our community members - we are incredibly grateful for your unwavering support that played a significant role in making our event a remarkable success.” The symposium was a great success, and the guests on the event’s panel ignited a spirited discussion about Gender Based Violence and related issues in the Peel region.
Although we had several large and memorable events throughout 2023 (like our 30th AnniversaryPicnic!), our Outreach Workers are some of the most powerful forces for positive change within our community. Kandi Biggs-Calder is a member of our CommunityEngagement team who shared her experience with outreach work: "Getting to work as an outreach worker has been an incredible experience! Outreach reminds us that it’s not just about addressing the immediate needs of those around us, but that it’s also about creating long-term change that can improve the overall health and wellness of our community.”
Our Gay Men’sHealth Programs Coordinator Michael Segbor shared his view on his program activitiesQueer Minds and Chai and Chat, “I'd say the programs we ran last year really created a safer space for folks to just be and connect.” Michael is a member of our Health Promotion team, which focuses on empowering the communities we serve with a combination of education and resources that improve the health of our clients. Winson Wong is another member of Health Promotion team who wanted to share information about his programs TotallyOutright and Removing the Barriers:“Totally Outright is a highly personalized experience where the queer community can participate in their own terms. Removing the Barriers Training is an immersed, service provider learning experience based on storytelling, community understanding, and intersectional unity.” 2023 also saw the relaunch of the Rainbow Salad site, a community resource for 2SLGBTQIA individuals in Peel and the Greater Toronto Area.
We’ve also seen some important progress in the development of Peel Region’s first Safe Consumption Site in Brampton, Ontario. This marks an incredible first for the region, as well as a significant way our Harm Reduction team can serve the community. Our Harm Reduction Outreach Supervisor Nat Kaminski had this to say about the program in 2023: “This year has been an exciting year for the Harm ReductionProgram at MOYO! Beyond getting our UPHNS off the ground we've started 5satellite harm reduction distribution points that are peer run in the region, had our Peel Drug Users Advisory Panel present at Regional Council and a few events and get highlighted in the news and in videos. Personally, as a HarmReduction Outreach and Peer Programs Supervisor, it's been incredible to watch our peer team grow and gain so much success. Being someone who came from peer work myself it's a privilege to support others to get involved in the work using their lived experience to help empower and support community members.” It is clear that Moyo Health and Community Services is leading the way for harm reduction in the Region of Peel.
As we reflect on the highlights of 2023 with Moyo Health and Community Services, our commitment to community well-being is best shown by our incredible team that regularly goes above and beyond to serve our clients. Through our Community Engagement, Client Support, Harm Reduction, and Health Promotion programs and with a focus on inclusivity, Moyo Health and Community Services has set a standard of community health and service that we continually strive to improve on. As we move further into 2024, it is with great gratitude for the communities we serve and our incredible team that we look to the future with optimism and hope.