Programming Connection

Weekend Wellness Retreats 

Positive Women's Network (PWN)
British Columbia
2011

Lessons Learned

  • Women living with HIV can benefit from an opportunity to be themselves and interact with one another absent of HIV stigma.
  • A retreat should be participant-centred, facilitated with an emphasis on confidentiality and offer a mixed agenda of structured circles, workshops and free time.
  • A supportive and relaxing environment helps women focus on learning about HIV and its effects on their lives.
  • Collaboration with other organizations helps to generate awareness of the event and a diversity of participants.
  • The process of retreat recruitment and post-retreat debriefing offers opportunities for women to become engaged in the broader services offered by the host organization.
  • To support the participation of women from a variety of experiences, the application process must be flexible and supportive.