This page will tell you about future and past events we run for families at Chiva.
We held our first ever families’ weekend from the 14-16 April 2023 in Oxfordshire.
It was an informative, emotional, fun weekend, that brought together families. The programme for the weekend was carefully created to ensure that safe spaces for parents and caregivers were available, while the young people were entertained. It also allowed time for the whole family to come together and enjoy some creative activities, facilitated in a way that included talking about HIV, living well and taking moments to appreciate the contributions of each member of the family.
Parents and caregivers had the opportunity to have conversations that they would not normally have. Some mentioned that this was the only place they felt comfortable and safe to talk about HIV. What was also important was to ask questions, and have some myths busted, while sharing lived experiences as evidence.
The “naming HIV” session was extremely powerful and will inform some recommendations on how to have the naming conversation with a young person.
The creative writing session was a platform to encourage parents/caregivers to take sometime out of their busy days and gather their thoughts to selfcare.
Young people aged 8 and above enjoyed some activities such as rock climbing, biking, walking. Most importantly also having the opportunity to connect with each other in a way that is different from camp (as their siblings were also present). With most families not having access to green spaces, this was a welcome part of the programme.
With the cost-of-living crises, families are finding it hard to maintain a healthy diet which is recommended while on antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs. The Food Chain led a “cooking on a budget” nutrition and family cooking session which was very well received. The knowledge shared on food and how it nourishes the body was easy to understand and implement upon returning home.
We withstood the British weather and embarked on a short family walk. Changing environment from indoors to outdoors encouraged a very different dynamic of conversations – ranging from dating while living with HIV and being a single parent, to holidaying on a budget.
This intervention for families was effective and will be back in 2024!
This is a chance for young people living with HIV and their families to come together in a safe place.
After calls for a families’ residential weekend, Chiva will not be holding a family conference in 2023. Previously, and since 2018, Chiva ran an annual family conference for parents/carers of a child or young person growing up living with HIV, and young adults who have grown up living with HIV. It was a safe space where participants could:
- Attend sessions exploring family communication and HIV
- Hear from the Chiva Youth Committee and other young people about their experiences of growing up with HIV
- Hear what young people living with HIV need from their family members
- Hear from other parents and carers perspectives, plus attend specialist workshops exploring topics such as positive parenting techniques, understanding the impact of bereavement, and self-care.
The most recent family conference took place on Saturday 21st May 2022.
To be contacted about future family events, please complete the below form.