CAAT successfully holds 4th Annual General Meeting, Announces additional Funding

CAAT successfully holds 4th Annual General Meeting, Announces additional Funding
By Henry Luyombya
On a windy and cold evening of 23rd November 2012, the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT) held its 4th annual general meeting. The well-attended event took place at 585 Dundas Street, the Daniel’s Spectrum (formerly Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre). With close to 50 attendees, CAAT’s 4th AGM was one of the best organized and attended. The new venue was appealing and spacious and the atmosphere was welcoming. After the business part of the meeting, CAAT had a volunteer appreciation event that recognized community volunteers on the Steering Committee whose terms of office had come to an end. The outgoing members that were recognized include: Sandra Chu, Michel Alba and Amutha Samgam. Other volunteers recognized for their tremendous work towards achieving CAAT’s goal of improving health and livelihoods for communities affected and individuals living with HIV were Alan Li, Andre Ceranto and Derek Yee, a former Legacy Coordinator at CAAT. CAAT also welcomed new Steering Committee members to the team – Alan Li, Luis Fonseca, Valérrie Pierre-Pierre, a Vijaya Chikermane and Y.Y Brandon Chen.
CAAT co-chair, Shannon Ryan thanked CAAT the rest of the volunteers and members for their dedication and hard work towards achieving CAAT’s goals and objectives. He also acknowledged partner organisations and stakeholders that work with CAAT. He gave special thanks to our funding and sponsoring partners for their continued support. The latter included Regent Park Community Health Centre, Toronto People with AIDS Foundation and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.
Mr. Ryan also delivered good news to the members by announcing the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (AIDS Bureau) funding of $75,000 to CAAT. The funding will go towards the continued education and training communities on issues of HIV, access and immigration throughout the province of Ontario. A representative from the Ministry, and CAAT volunteer, James Murray said that governments invest dollars in programs that work. He was proud of the work CAAT does, and said that it was one of the reasons AIDS Bureau chose the agency because of its good track record of equitable engagement of all communities affected by HIV and delivering results.
In her address to the membership, the Program Coordinator, Maureen Owino said that despite the successes achieved, 2012 was a challenging year because of several losses in our communities. She acknowledged members who had passed, and those who had been deported after the new immigration laws had taken effect. She encouraged members to be more active in advocacy work to ensure that community members are equipped with correct information regarding changes to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) and immigration policies. CAAT staff members presented highlights of their programs on research, the newcomer sexual health and Legacy projects.
It was a day when CAAT members felt a sense of reunion and celebration of another successful year for CAAT, and her partners. For a copy of the 2012 Annual report please contact CAAT staff.