Posts Tagged ‘ça marche’

5 Reasons to Support Head & Hands’ Ça Marche Campaign!


ca marche pictures

It’s finally that time to put on your dancing shoes and join Head & Hands (H&H) for Ça Marche 2015. Together we will continue the dancing tradition we began back in 2008. You might ask yourself why you should dance for seven kilometers on a Sunday morning. Well, besides the fact that it’s a wonderful occasion to get in shape with this one of the kind intense cardio workout or that it’s a good way to send off the summer and welcome the fall,  Ça Marche supports our crucial services, which were accessed  almost 30, 000 times last year! Let’s explore some more reasons why you should participate in Ça Marche 2015:


1)Our medical services provide youth between the ages of 12-25 the necessary tools to make informed decisions. This past year, our health services were accessed by over 1200 youth, many of whom come to our clinic because lack of health insurance, financial resources, stigma, or discrimination prevent them from accessing services elsewhere. Our approach is non-judgmental, holistic and confidential — welcoming to each and every one of our clients!


2)When the rights to a life-saving drug like Daraprim, which is mostly used to treat immunodeficiencies such as AIDS, can be bought by one individual who can single-handedly raise its price from $13.50 to $750 a pill, the presence of NGOs and community organizations becomes that much more relevant. Head & Hands, like other community organizations, fills-in the gap. When you think about how the HIV/AIDS pandemic is still affecting an estimated 20,000 Quebecers, it is even more of a reason to take part in the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk —  to not only raise awareness, but to help fund programs that are aimed at HIV prevention and harm-reduction like our health services.


3)This past year, over 300 people registered for the emergency food pantry — a 46% increase from the previous year!! During times of economic uncertainty, the demand for affordable food increases! Our food pantry is unique in Montreal because you don’t have to show ID or proof of address in order to access it, making it accessible to everyone who needs it!


4)The Street Work outreach program is the only one its kind in the bourough of Notre-Dame-De-Grâce (NDG) , and this year we’ve distributed over 6, 000 clean injection kits!


5)Our medical clinic runs Montreal’s only trans* health program for youth that uses an intake process based on informed consent, trusting each individual as the expert on their own experience rather than requiring a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to access hormone therapy.


And of course, there are so many more reasons to support us that we didn’t have room to include!


Please join us on Sunday, September 27, at le Parterre du Quartier des Spectacles for the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk, Ça Marche 2015.


Thank you for supporting Head & Hands by donating HERE.


*French translation coming soon!

Why Join Ça Marche 2015? Because Sex Ed Makes Sense


While watching our very own Funding and Partnerships Coordinator, Victoria, lead an interview featured on CBC News’s The National where she discussed the importance of sex-ed and our sexual health services, I felt an immense sense of pride to be working for an NGO that really makes a difference in the community. Since the 2005 Secondary School Reform which effectively removed sex education from the school curriculum in Quebec, regular school teachers who don’t always have the expertise necessary to properly educate young people have been providing informal sex-ed classes. It has become abundantly clear that projects such as our peer-based sex-ed program, The Sense Project, now active in 13 schools are more essential than ever. As Victoria puts it, “Training is so important! You would never send an untrained math teacher into a classroom.” This lack of education is perhaps reflected in the Institut National de Santé Publique’s 2013-2014 statistical report on Québec sexual health, which shows that the Chlamydia incidence rate within the 15 to 24 demographic has steadily increased. Nevertheless, sex-ed is not only a matter of educating youth about STDs, issues concerning consent, body image, sexual orientation, cultural sensitivity, quality and gender identity are equally important which is why The Sense Project is so valuable.

While Québec’s provincial government is reviewing its sex-ed policies and deciding on whether to implement its mandatory sex- ed pilot project, programs such as The Sense Project which has developed comprehensive workshops, definitely help fill in the gap.

Every year we raise money for HIV prevention, education, and support services for youth. Ça Marche is more that an annual HIV/AIDS walk; it is vital for the simple fact that funds raised during this time will help finance core programs and services such as the Sense Project!

You can sign up here to join the fundraising team!

Or donate to the team here!

Social Counsellor Rhonda Discusses ÇA MARCHE 2015


rhonda, ca marche

Over 330 youth accessed free and ongoing mental health support through Head & Hands (H&H) during the past year. The success of this amazing social counselling program can in large part be attributed to social counselor Rhonda, H&H’s very own “mother hen.” Rhonda has dedicated fourteen years of her life to the organization and loves every minute of it. We recently sat down with Rhonda to discuss Ça Marche and her work.

H&H: What do you enjoy the most about working for H&H?

Rhonda: This is a very special place; our services are very important and they make a difference. I’m really privileged to work here. My favorite part is working with the clients. I love to be invited on their journeys of self-discovery, and to be able to help them through these journeys. My work allows me to explore the many ways in which we impact one another.

H&H: Why is participating in Ça Marche important to you?

Rhonda: I guess, it’s always been what I have considered my personal project…like in terms of fundraising at Head and Hands, it’s a campaign I really get on. We’re so lucky that the Farha Foundation organizes this great fundraiser that allows us to raise money for our programs and services. I also have some personal history with the Farha family: “Ronnie” Farha and I shared backyards, he was just a bit younger than me, and adorable, just adorable. His mother (Evelyn) was just so lovely, and they moved away but my mother kept in contact. Sadly, Ronnie passed away from AIDS.

H&H: So for you participating is like paying tribute to Ron?

Rhonda: Yeah, as a tribute to “Ronnie” and his mom, because to lose a child is so devastating,and also because Ron contracted HIV in the early years, and we’ve come so far now. So yeah, I walk and I tell people about how important Ça Marche is to raise money for Head and Hands’ services, including our medical services which provide HIV/AIDS education and screening to Montreal youth. Not everybody can join us the day of the march, so I say I will walk for you (donors). I strongly belive in the work we do. I carry a heart with me on the day of  Ça Marche. This year I will invite donors for a tea party at my apartment, and make cakes. So this year the tea party will be at my house!

H&H: Any word of advice for people fundraising this year?

Rhonda: Look at it as an opportunity to contribute. The attitude is important, this is my big time of the year. I really push for this one.

There you have it — some great words of wisdom from Rhonda, who passionately invests herself in Ça Marche every year to raise money for the organization that is the closest to her heart.

To join our team or support our efforts, click here!


Ça Marche 2015: A Day to Remember


Hey everyone!

Let’s welcome fall, and say “goodbye” to summer with an epic dance-party!

ca marche pictures


My name is Marie and  as the new Special Events and Fundraising Assistant , I’m happy to invite you to join us for our 2nd biggest fundraiser of the year: Ça Marche.  Join-in on the fun, dress up, and dance the day away. This mega dance-party will be held on Sunday, September 27, at Le Parterre du Quartier des Spectacles, situated at metro Place-des-arts, Montréal’s cultural epicenter. Help us raise $30,000 to finance our core programs and services for 2015-2016, including our medical clinics that offer youth HIV prevention, education, and testing, our social and legal services, and the Sense Project, our peer based sex-ed project, and J2K – our teen drop-in center!

Can you believe that our programs and services were accessed over 28, 000 times by almost 7,000 youth last year? We want that to continue. With your generosity and valuable time you will also help raise awareness to the HIV/AIDS pandemic still affecting an estimated 20,000 Quebecers.

Besides the fact that Ça Marche is the second biggest fundraiser of the year, and will give you a chance to show off your dance moves, and meet new people, it is also being held on what happens to be a pretty cool day.

Here are some fun facts about other social justice events and innovations that have taken place on September 27th:

  • on September 27, 1954, public school integration began in Washington D.C.and in Baltimore M.D.
  • the launch of Google on September 27, 1998, completely altered the way people interact with one another creating a “global village” that makes it a whole lot easier to unite for causes we care about….like.. Ça Marche!
  • on September 27, 2012, the Mars Curiosity Rover discovered evidence of an ancient fast-moving streambed on the surface of Mars, proving that there not only once was a body of water on the planet, but that life could exist beyond planet Earth. In my opinion, this could be used as a reminder that as the only known advanced civilization, ‘we’ should show other potential lifeforms that when we cooperate together we can accomplish great things, like raising 30K for Head & Hands!

  •  Finally, the lead singer of one of my favorite bands Sleater-Kinney, and founding member of the revolutionary Riot Grrrl    movement , Carrie Brownstein was born on September 27, 1974.

Ca Marche

At this point, I am sure that all of you really wanna get involved, and this is how you can do so:

Simply sign up here to join our fundraising team:

 Click this link. Do it now. Greatness awaits you! 

Then create a profile and collect pledges. You can also donate in person at Head & Hands (5833 Sherbrooke O). All gifts above $20 will receive a charitable tax receipt. Your presence at the event will of course also be greatly appreciated.

Please join in on the fun, dress-up, show off your dance moves, help us maintain all of our amazing programs and services, and spread the word!

If you have questions please contact Marie at:

Thank you for all of the support.

We will see you all on the 27th !

Ca Marche: Thank You High Fives for All!

thank you high-fives to all!

thank you high-fives to all!

Thank you times a million! We are filled up to our ears with gratitude and love for all of you for contributing to this year’s Ça Marche! Thank you to the Farha Foundation, our staff, board members, volunteers, dancers, walkers, donors, and support system for making this event incredible!

We currently have raised $22,000 and the money is still coming in! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the total amount, and we’re hoping, that with your help, soon we’ll be able to celebrate $25,000 and then….the big $30,000. The number of people who have stepped up to help support health and social services for youth is simply amazing! Every donation counts toward supporting our medical clinics, peer sex-ed Sense Project, and our other youth programming. You have all helped us celebrate Montreal’s youth and the lives of all those affected in some way by HIV/AIDS.

This past Saturday’s weather was nothing short of perfect with the sun shining brightly which allowed for some seriously hot spandex, drag, short shorts, and dresses. We took to the streets in our glittery glory and strutted our stuff to Phoebe’s wonderful dance choreography.

What a day! We can’t wait until next year, but before then, we’ll be releasing a video (stay tuned) and photos from our photographer, Angie.

*French translation coming soon!

#TBT: MTL’s First Trans* Rights March


trans march 1

Today on the blog, we’re looking back to August 10, when almost 400 members and allies of Montreal’s trans* community took to the streets to demonstrate our strength as a community and call upon the Quebec government to follow through on its commitments towards respecting trans* rights.  This powerful event was  organized by the collectif Participes, a recently-formed group of dedicated, creative, and inspiring trans* youth!

Last year, the government passed a law promising to alleviate the discriminatory barriers faced by trans* people who want to legally register their gender.  Almost a year later,  all clauses of this law have been put into action except the ones dealing with trans* rights.  Meanwhile, social and institutional discrimination against trans* people – from barriers to accessing hormone therapy to ongoing violence – remain widespread.  This article provides a more detailed overview of the many reasons we all gathered to march last month.

Here at Head & Hands, we were thrilled to participate in this historic action as part of our ongoing work to support trans* rights.  Did you know that our medical clinic runs Montreal’s only trans* health program for youth that uses an intake process based on informed consent, trusting each individual as the expert on their own experience rather than requiring a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to access hormone therapy? We also provide extensive free counseling to trans* youth and their families, and incorporate trans*-positivity into our sexual health education workshops through the Sense project!

Also!  Did you know that Head & Hands’ health services receive no government funding??  We rely on individual and community support to keep these services going, and we’re mobilizing this month to gather donations as part of our Ca Marche campaign!  If you’d like to join us and dance 7km through downtown Montreal on September 27th,  follow THIS link.  And of course, you can sponsor us directly by following THIS one!

Finally, some more rad pics from the day of the march…!

trans march 2 trans march 4 trans march 5






Ca marche

On Saturday September 27th, Head & Hands supporters, staff, and board, will take to the streets as part of Ça Marche 2014, the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk.

This year, we’re setting our sights high with an objective of $30,000! We know, we’re ambitious – but we also know that with your help we can make it happen!!
Your donation will support three core health services:

1) Our twice-weekly weekly medical clinics: accessible and welcoming to youth regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status. It’s the only community-based youth-clinic in Montreal, and our health services were accessed almost 2,000 times last year!

2) The Sense Project: peer-based sex-ed program that reached nearly 800 youth last year. Sense offers a series of three holistic workshops covering topics including STIs, contraception, consent, gender identity, sexual orientation and more!

3) You’ll also be contributing to help our newly reinstated Street Work program run better than ever! This program supports NDG’s most marginalized youth with in-the-streets risk reduction. It’s the only program of its kind in NDG, and offers HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, crisis intervention and active listening, accompaniments, support navigating social services, educational workshops, clean gear, and condoms.

There are SO many good reasons to dance the dance with us, so over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing some of our dancers to see why they do it!


Want to JOIN the Head & Hands team? Sign up HERE!!

Want to SEE last year’s epic dance moves? Check them our HERE!!

Want to DONATE? Donate HERE!!


Now, without further ado, let us introduce our very own


Who are you and what do you do at Head & Hands?

My name is Ralph also known as Waahli, I coordinate the legal services and the legal clinic at Head and Hands. As a paralegal I provide legal information to youth explore options and empower youth to make informed decision in a legal situation.

On my free time, I’m also MC, Producer, and performer for Global Hip Hop collective Nomadic Massive, and operate Wyzah Musk Soap, a business environmentally friendly organic soaps.

Still, somehow I find the time to partake in Ca Marche!

Why are you participating in Ca Marche?

I’ve done it in the past and I feel that it is important to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and demystify the myth around it by applying concrete action by walking without taking the fun away, you know being creative about it. It’s also way to gather, share and celebrate life and its many facets in a positive way.

Why should others participate in Ca Marche?

Cuz’ it happens once a year, and it’s one of Head & Hands’ most important fundraisers! Working here, I also recognize the importance and direct impact that these funds have on our programs. Oh yeah, and because it’s always good times!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Be there on sept27th!!



Ça Marche Reaches for the Moon and Falls Amongst some Superstars


Well, folks, we did it! Not only have we reached our $25,000 goal for Ça Marche, but we surpassed it! You have all helped us raise just over $26,000 for our health services! We thank you all so much for supporting our Sense Project, medical clinics, and Street Work program as well as joining us for a super fun day. If you weren’t able to participate this year or are in withdrawal of Ça Marche sparkle magic, enjoy this video as it will hopefully tide you over until next year. We can’t wait! Much love.





WOW! We wish there was a word that meant thank you times a million because we are so filled with gratitude and love for all of you for contributing to the great success of this year’s Ça Marche! Thank you to the Farha Foundation, our staff, board members, volunteers, dancers, walkers, donors, and support system for making 2013 a record-breaking year for this incredible event!

At this point, $23,000 has been raised and money is still coming in! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the total amount but we have a tickling feeling that we’ll be celebrating a $25,000 result very soon! We’ve been overwhelmed (in the bestest way) with the amount of people who wanted to help support health services for youth! Every donation counts toward supporting our medical clinics, peer sex-ed Sense Project, and the re-launch of our Street Work program. You have all helped us celebrate Montreal’s youth and the lives of all those affected in some way by HIV/AIDS.

This past Sunday’s weather was nothing short of perfect with the sun shining brightly which allowed for some seriously hot spandex and incredible outfits. Our team dressed up to the nines and strutted their sexy selves to DJ Nothing Beats a BJ and Claire’s amazing dance choreography.

It was a total blast of a day and we can’t wait until next year. Stay tuned via our Facebook for photos from Angie and video footage from Jess & Carol!

Ça Marche: You’re Invited!


September is Ça Marche month on the blog! Let’s come together for the Farha Foundation’s walk on September 29th, and raise money for our HIV prevention, education, and support services for youth. Join our team, make a donation, or come out and shake your thang to help us raise $25,000 for a great cause!  

photo (15)

We’re so close to one of our favourite days of the year! Ça Marche 2013 takes place THIS Sunday, September 29th and we would love to see you there!

Who: Head & Hands, The Farha Foundation & YOU!

What: A 7km HIV/AIDS walk (which we DANCE) that supports health services for youth and for people who are affected by or living with HIV. Head & Hands is raising funds for our medical clinics, street work program, and the Sense Project, our peer-based sex-ed program.

Where: Parc Émilie-Gamelin (Ste-Catherine Est & St-Hubert)

When: We gather to learn the choreography, celebrate, have some warm drinks and a bite to eat on Sunday, Sept. 29th at 9am and begin the parade at 10am.

Why: We participate because we know how important health services are to youth and we dance because we believe in celebrating the lives of those living with HIV, the lives of those we have lost, and the joys of working with youth. It is also a really fun day where everyone can be their unique perfect selves and we can join forces with other organizations around Montreal that believe in similar causes and share the love alongside us.

How: Join our team, donate, or come with whoever else you’d like and dance or walk with us!! You don’t need to donate to celebrate the day with us. The more, the merrier!

RSVP: “Attend” our Facebook event, contact us, or just show up on Sunday morning!

Notes: Costumes, sparkles, and spandex are not mandatory, but super-fun to have. Dress however you like and bring your pizzazz!

For more info, contact Fundraising and Development Coordinator Juniper or Special Events and Fundraising Assistant Jennifer at 514-481-0277!