My lovely people, these past few days I have been very proactive and this is really boosting my confidence and energy as well.
Last weekend I was invited to give a THRIVE workshop during the 4th National HIV positive Day, an initiative by Utopia_BXL, which aims to bring together the Belgian HIV community and partners in Brussels, Belgium. This was a great opportunity to share THRIVE with the HIV community as a valuable contribution to living and ageing healthily with HIV.
The THRIVE workshop was scheduled in the afternoon after a morning mostly filled with presentations and discussion about quality of life, challenges of the migrant community in Belgium, etc. Following these, THRIVE is perfect as it is engaging and fun. In a THRIVE workshop there is no time for boring powerpoints or keynote speakers. No, THRIVE is all about being lively, excited and energetic. In other words about being vivacious!
THRIVE started by exploring the dreams and aspiration of the HIV community and our allies. This was the first time ever to use the unique dreamtrees co-designed with our thrivers. And participants were really passionate about making their own dreamtrees and eager to share their pieces of art. Aren't they lovely?
What is so good about the dreamtree is that by sharing their future, the participants get very practical hints and tips from others on small steps they could take now. And also on how to remain patient and focused on achieving their bigger dreams.
The favourite game for many participants was our brand new addition, the Tower of Trust! They really loved the feature built into the game where you can ask questions that have been bothering them and that they would never even ask to their own family, friends, or doctor...
This was their chance to pose them by hiding them in the Tower of Trust. So, with all these questions hidden in the Tower, no one will know who posed it.
Then, when any question is drawn, we would discuss together without any judgement. Participants really loved this game because they have so much freedom to express themselves anonymously and then have lively discussions about issues that are bothering the HIV community. Many wished we would have more time to play it!
The final three steps (Spark, Grow and THRIVE) we celebrated being part of the HIV community. I 'sparked' the party with a poem called 'It is my time to fight HIV stigma'. And yes, it was my debut to cite it in French! We then learned taking some baby steps towards living positively, Africa style, and finished the workshop with a positive dance, energized by some sweeping Africans songs.
What a workshop! I understood it was very much appreciated by the participants and some requested if we could do it again in future. It gave me immense joy to see that my vision to live and age healthily with HIV can be put into action by the HIV community itself.
I am so proud that THRIVE can be a part of creating a vivacious HIV community!
This blog was originally posted on hivstigmafighter.