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SHIELD encouraging Happy Valley-Goose Bay youth to take part in retreat

Sexual Health Information Exchange Labrador District Project coordinator Denise Cole teaching some of the youth in the project about technology and how they can use it to get a message out.
Sexual Health Information Exchange Labrador District Project coordinator Denise Cole teaching some of the youth in the project about technology and how they can use it to get a message out. - Evan Careen

Hands-on learning experience incorporating various forms of technology

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

The Sexual Health Information Exchange Labrador District (SHIELD) Project is looking for youth aged 13-18 to take part in a three-day art, culture and technology (ACT) retreat in early October.

Denise Cole, SHIELD project coordinator, said it will be a hands-on learning experience.

“What we’re doing is trying a bunch of different art mediums,” she said. “But also, how do we take these forms of art and turn them into something we can use with our technology.”

She said youth will be encouraged to bring their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices and they will teach them how to take physical art into online art and messaging using art-based software.

Some of the activities will include image creation, jam sessions, magazine making, editing skills, and theatre/storytelling. The retreat will be coordinated by award-winning multimedia artist Liz Solo.

“We’re doing different things to create these fun and user friendly environments for young people to express themselves through art but also to learn about sexual health and other wellness topics,” Cole said.

SHIELD is partnering with Labrador Grenfell Health (LGH) on the event, with the Labrador Friendship Centre sponsoring it. The retreat is free for youth. LGH will be involving youth in discussions around such topics as sexual health and the Friendship Centre will assist with blending Indigenous components into the event.

Cole said with the retreat the idea is putting health themes really strongly into the work that they’re doing. Each of the three days will have a different theme.

The first day will be about relationships, the second will be about sexual health, and the third will be about self-image.

“The idea is we use that energy to make sure that young people have the space, and the safe space, to be able to talk about what they’re experiencing or anything they would like to share,” she said. “We’ll also have experts on hand to make sure they get the right information for anything they want to learn as well.”

Space for the retreat is limited and the application deadline is Monday, Sept. 17. Applications can be completed online at www.lfcshieldproject.ca or contact project coordinator Denise Cole at dcole@lfchvgb.ca or 896-8302 (ext. 224).

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