Annual Report 2013

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MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dear ACAS family and supporters, 2013-2014 has been a year where ACAS organized many significant and important activities and delivered complex and successful programs and services. Our most worthy accomplishments include (i) PinkDot TO march in Chinatown, (ii) the 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner, (iii) a constructive clients’ weekend retreat, (iv) health promotion workshops for Asians living with HIV/AIDS, (v) QAY performances, and of course, (vi) the ACAS float with over 100 marchers and dancers at the 2014 World PRIDE parade. This year ACAS also participated in the 2014 World PRIDE Human Rights Conference with three panel discussions on issues related to Asian LGBT experiences, challenges and working and living with HIV. We also made our presence known at several Asian festivals and community events where we conducted solid outreach and awareness. A significant milestone was the community, staff and board update of the organization’s strategic directions. This document explores current external and internal environment and addresses potential influences to the work of ACAS. Finally, this year also saw the departure of several staff members in the Support, Women’s and Men’s Outreach programs. We would like to thank them for their dedication, time and energy they gave to ACAS. Thank you for your continued support, and your valuable partnership which continues to make ACAS a positive partner and organization for our community. Andre Goh Board Chair


Noulmook Sutdhibhasilp Executive Director






Statistics from Ontario Community HIV/AIDS Reporting Tool (OCHART) document provided by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network


ACAS Website



o reduce the infection of HIV/AIDS by promoting public T awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention and safer sex in the Asian communities.

o provide comprehensive and culturally appropriate support, T education, and outreach services to Asians and Asians infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in a non-discriminatory and nonjudgmental manner.

o enhance the well-being of Asians infected and affected by T HIV/AIDS by providing direct services, increasing their control over their own health, and by promoting a supportive environment in the larger community.

o promote a supportive environment to Asians infected and T affected by HIV/AIDS by increasing access to services and by reducing racism, homophobia, and AIDS-phobia.

o increase networking and collaboration among the Asian T communities and HIV/AIDS services in Canadian society.

12 6 109 26



7 35









ours 9h 01


On World AIDS Day, December 1, 1994, three of the AIDS groups serving the Southeast Asian communities in Metro Toronto joined forces to form a new coalition agency. Gay Asians Toronto’s Gay Asian AIDS Project, Southeast Asian Service Centre’s Vietnamese AIDS Project, and the Toronto Chinese Health Education Committee’s AIDS Alert Project amalgamated to form the new coalition agency, Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS).



2 hours 66





Blogs Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS) is a charitable, nonprofit, community-based organization. It provides HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and support services to the East and Southeast Asian Canadian communities. These programs are based on a pro-active, and holistic approach to HIV/AIDS and are provided in a collaborative, empowering, and non-discriminatory manner.


Administration Outreach Training Other Special Events Board/Advisory Committee Education/Community Development

VOLUNTEERS IN 2013/2014 246 Volunteers

104 New Volunteers


Client Stories I knew ACAS back in 1996 and became a client of Support Program in 2001. Since I got involved with ACAS, it has always been a family to me. Support program has provided me with the opportunity to meet other peers and gain new experiences. I learned how to better take care of myself and enjoy life through program/events such as massage, watching the show, dining out, picnic, workshops and retreats. The thing I enjoy the most is to cook for the workshops, thanksgiving dinner, holiday dinner and ALPHA group. Thank you ACAS for all those wonderful experiences. “

在我加入acas以来 不论从生活上或精神上我都得到了 很多的帮助 在一些特殊药品能得到部份报销 在我精 神很底落的时候 得到细心的开觧 我在亲属移民的办 理中得到认真的帮助 在法律上有问题还得到引领見律 师 acas还定期组织我们聚会和旅游 让我们有更多的机 会和大家见面和谈心 Acas是我除了亲入以外 我最可 靠依赖和信任的组织 希望acas越办越好 ­— from K.

from Rommel ANDREW MIAO, Support Program Coordinator JENNY S. CHENG, Women’s Support Worker KENNETH POON, Health Promotion Worker The Support Program provides confidential support services to East and Southeast Asians living with HIV, including their partners, families, and friends. Our program aims to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). To meet the unique needs of our service users, we collaborate with other ACAS programs and related community partners to deliver holistic and culturally appropriate services. We strive to support and empower PHAs to cope and live with HIV. This empowerment process is accomplished by enhancing PHAs’ knowledge and skills to facilitate self-care and to make positive changes to their lives. HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013-2014


uring the year of 2013-2014, our team provided case D management and support services to 107 individuals (including 82 PHAs and 25 affected members).

e offered 12 health promotion workshops, with themes W including “HIV, Aging and Mental health”, “Tai Chi Demonstration”, “Accuball Exercise”, “Navigating the Healthcare System”, “Healthy Sexual Relationships” , and “HIV and Hepatitis A, B, C”.

e organized 9 social events and 6 ALPHA gatherings. The W highlight of this year was the Wellness and Educational Retreat at Ecology Retreat Centre from Aug 30 to Sept 1, where 34 participants got away from the city for a relaxing weekend to learn about health and self-care.

e have seen a huge increase of the number of clients who W participated in our functions and who supported each other. Many clients have become more outspoken and are willing to share their lived experiences. We plan to launch a video about east and southeast Asian PHA stories by the end of this year.

Prior to coming to Canada, my husband searched for an HIV/AIDS organization and he finally found ACAS. I was able to get some help while still living in Thailand. After I arrived in Canada last year, ACAS has been such a great and meaningful organization to my life. From that time, I have tried to attend and participate with their valuable activities although sometimes I could not join as the destination between my home town in Innisfil and Toronto is quite far. Support program has great meaning to me and those who are in the same situation like me. The program helps me a lot in the way of education providing knowledge as well as the social part of how to live with happiness in a daily life, which is especially important to the new comers like me. New comers face so many problems such as culture, food, weather, language and etc. The support program helps me gain the knowledge to adjust and adapt myself to live and socialize here with happiness. Finally, I would really like to express my sincerely thank you to ACAS and all their staffs members who help and support me in every way. I am glad and happy to be a part of the greatest organization like ACAS and I will always give my hands back to ACAS once required. — Natty


RICHARD UTAMA, MSM Sexual Health Coordinator RYAN TRAN, MSM Program Coordinator BRIAN LY, MSM Outreach Worker CHRIS AN, Locker Room Outreach Coordinator CHRISTIAN HUI, MSM Research Coordinator/Straight Talk Program Coordinator The Men’s Program strives to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among Asian men who have sex with men (MSM), as well as heterosexual Asian men who are targeted through the Locker Room Project. Based on sex-positive risk and harm reduction strategies, the program promotes safer sex practices, healthy sexuality, and safer substance-use. We provide educational outreach, social support events, and behavioural interventions in culturally relevant and sensitive manners. HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013-2014 •

sian Men Pathways to Resiliency (AMP2R) Community-Based A Research lead by Dr. Alan Li was presented as a well-received interactive workshop on Asian MSM Cultural Resiliency at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Other presentations include Asian MSM resiliency strategy workshops at the BC Gay Men’s Summit 2013, the Rainbow Health Ontario Conference 2014, the International Union of Public Health Educators Conference in Pattaya, Thailand and at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) Conference 2013.

I n its 8th year, our monthly Asian Bathhouse Night maintains its success in outreaching to Asian MSMs. Over 200 participants attended our sexual health workshops, and over 60 Asian men got tested for HIV during the events this year.

3 2 Asian MSMs attended the SLAM (Sex Love Asian Men) forum, which addressed issues around relationships, PrEP, HIV disclosure, and other health topics. Hassle Free Clinic was also present at the forum and 10 men got anonymous HIV testing.


CASSANDRA DANG NGUYEN, Women’s Education and Outreach Coordinator The Women’s Outreach Program provides services to increase Asian Women’s access to sexual and reproductive health information including HIV and STI prevention. We provide outreach, referral services, HIV testing information, printed materials and workshops in various Asian languages.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013-2014 •

e continue to lead in outreach through smartphone applications W and have reached 28 Asian MSM engaging in conversations around sexual health and referrals to Hassle Free Clinic. We have also trained volunteers to conduct outreach.

ur volunteers produced a short video entitled “I’ll Pull Out” to O raise awareness on sexual risks and behavioural issues in the gay Asian community including testing, condomless sex, relationships, and negotiation.

astly, we launched a ground-breaking pilot project called L “Straight Talk” to assess the sexual health needs of ‘heterosexually married men’ who have sex with other men.

“Pillow Talk” was a successful community forum attended by 37 Asian women. This one-day gathering provided a safe space to talk about healthy body image, feeling good about sexuality and ask questions about HIV testing and how to take care of our reproductive health.

6 women in a planning committee hosted 6 social events for Asian women. These events are great gateway to initiate conversations on taboo topics related to HIV, STIs and birth control and sexuality.

The peer outreach worker continued outreach sessions to Asian Trans women in the sex trade. 19 trans women were given information and referrals on HIV testing and access to safer sex kits.

e delivered 14 workshops and 18 outreach sessions which have W been successful in encouraging newcomers and immigrants involved in other ACAS workshop outreach and workshop activities as volunteers and participants. 9

2013 – 2014 in PHOTOS

MEZART DAULET, Youth Education and Outreach Program Coordinator The Youth Education and Outreach Program prevents the spread of HIV/STIs and improve the quality of life among LGBTQ Asian youth community by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate education and outreach, creating a safe space, developing youth’s capacities, and addressing socioeconomic factors such as homo/transphobia, racism, sexism, and HIV stigma that contribute to risky behaviour.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013-2014 •

e made over 1400 contacts through our outreach activities, W including over 150 attendees in our various sexual health workshops such as HIV 101, Healthy Relationship, and AntiOppression; and over 400 attendees in our social events organized by Queer Asian Youth (QAY).

Queer Asian Youth celebrated its 14th Anniversary since its very first event in January 2000. During World Pride, QAY’s marked 10th year of putting together the Pride Cabaret Show, featuring 8 performances, at the Clean, Sober, and Proud Stage.


ith funding from Community One Foundation Rainbow W Grant, we will be updating multilingual coming out resources for Asian parents with LGBTQ children. We expect to complete the project by February 2015. group of Queer Asian Youth came together and spoke about their A experience in front of a camera. The resulting YouTube video entitled “Voices of Queer Asian Youth” now has over 3000 views in total.

TRISHA STEINBERG, Volunteer Program Coordinator


The Volunteer Program at ACAS recruits, trains, and supports volunteers and provides human resources for other programs. Based on the successes of this past year, the Volunteer Program is pleased to announce the completion of yet another outstanding year.

• Th is past year, we continued our excellence in providing ACAS with highly skilled volunteers by training, and developing essential skills with them. Through our skills training and development, the Volunteer Program is pleased to announce the successful completion of 6 mini-projects (i.e. Fortune Cookie Drive for World AIDS Day, Japanese-inspired beaded pouch craft workshop).

Here at ACAS, volunteer work is greatly appreciated, and we sincerely thank all of our volunteers for donating their time and energy to make things happen. Our appreciation was expressed at a number of volunteer recognition events held throughout the year. Volunteer contributions were implemented in areas such as administration / IT, education, outreach, community development, fundraising, practical support and special events. To date, the Volunteer Program would like to welcome and thank our 49 new dedicated volunteers.

• 3 sets of Core-Skills Training were held in 2013 (April, September and December). In addition to these sessions, all new volunteers completed the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) Training online. • Th e Volunteer Program’s partnership with PASAN (Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network) led to the Health Fair at the Grand Valley Institute in December 2013 and in June 2014 participated at the Pre-Release Fair, organized by the John Howard Society of Kingston – at Pittsburgh and Joyceville Institution. An information session on community programming was conducted by Fife House through Volunteer Program’s continued partnership. 13

I got to know many awesome people and learned a lot from them and through volunteering for ACAS. It made me accept myself more and love myself more, which changed my perspective of my life in a positive way. – Chuck

FROM THE VOLUNTEERS I have felt welcomed at ACAS from the day one. I look forward to the days I spend at ACAS and hope to continue to learn and contribute for years to come. I love that I am constantly challenged to expand my horizons as I absorb new knowledge through my work, the staff, and the many workshops. Thank you! - Alissa As a queer newcomer, ACAS has provided a safe space for me and a chance to do community work and outreach to the East and Southeast Asian gay men. ACAS has inspired me to become a community worker. The organization continued to be a reliable resource to sexual health information and education. - Michael

Volunteering at ACAS has made me think twice about risky sexual behaviors. I’ve been able to share this knowledge and preventions with some of my friends. - Kevin I often think if there are no ACAS in Toronto, what would happen to those who are living with HIV/AIDS. - Lindsay Volunteering for ACAS and meeting people from different Asian culture has given me a more open mind and more understanding of things I didn’t understand before. Without an open mind, it would be impossible to make a difference in our community. - Darwin Thank you for being so inclusive and engaging us in a meaningful manner. - Aruna I really like the volunteering experience with ACAS as it has opened me up to opportunities and new education topics I’ve never had before. - Weny I gain confidence, self worth, experiences, as well as get to know more people and some of those people become friends. - Orathai


Volunteering with ACAS allowed me to see that there was a space where Asians can meet other Asians to talk about things that really mattered, while having fun along the way. - Bridges Volunteering for ACAS has given me opportunities to learn about sexual health and safety, about our community, and as well as form a supportive network of friends who assist me in many ways throughout my journey in learning about homosexuality, self acceptance, and confidence over body image. - Robin

Being involved with ACAS has increased my awareness of issues around sexuality, gender and HIV. - Aries

I am now more aware of how HIV/AIDS affects us all, and can better educate myself, fellow LGBT friends and allies. I’ve also met new and wonderful people where there’s a sense of belonging and acceptance. - Hannah

With my new found knowledge, I have been informing friends in the community regarding the different Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing and information. - Joseph

There is so much strength and kindness here. - Barbara

I feel that I was able to meet people that I’ll treasure forever. - Jorge

I’ve become more sociable, outgoing and confident about my sexual orientation. - Harry

It created positive experience for me because it allowed me to connect with other Queer Asians, and help me be more knowledgeable about the Queer Asian community, the issues we face and where to get help. - Roel


ASIAN COMMUNITY AIDS SERVICES Statement of Revenues and Expenditures Year Ended March 31, 2014 2014


Grants - Public Health Agency of Canada

$ 77,600

$ 77,600

Grants - Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care



Grants - City of Toronto






Grants - Community One Foundation Grants - The Canadian International Development Agency


Grants - Canadian Institute of Health Research



Donations and fundraising revenue








Advertising and promotion



Amortization - equipment



Bank charges






Consultants - projects Equipment and furniture purchased Fundraising Office relocation expenses

CHRISTIAN HUI, Community Engagement Worker MEZART DAULET, Social Media Program Coordinator The primary role of ACAS Community Engagement is to focus on engaging internal and external stakeholders of the organization. Our service users, volunteers, board members, community and media partners, and donors are kept up-to-date on agency news and our events through our website and social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Our program has successfully increased the agency’s visibility in the traditional media and social media channels and has broadened our partnerships within the East and Southeast Asian communities, extending to the broader community.


HIGHLIGHTS OF 2013-2014 •

e held 10 community workshops and outreach at local W hospitals, post-secondary institutions, rotary clubs, settlement agencies and collaborated with other ACAS programs for workshops/events for service users.

Office and general



Office rent (Note 5)



PHA programs and activities



Professional fees



Programs and educational materials Salaries and wages Staff development and support Youth internship

e had 26 runners/walkers in four teams to raise over $20,000 at W the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k.

Utilities, telephone and communications

e were covered in 14 media pieces, including TV, print, and W online media.

e participated in community sponsorship of the Inside Out film W festival, Reel Asian Film Festival, and the Korean Film Festival.

11,039 18,912

e were the designated charity of the Rotary Club of Toronto W Skyline for the 2014 Rotary Trump Poker AIDS Walk.

e collaborated with CCNCTO for PinkDotTO: Chinatown W Pride March during the Asian Heritage Month as a lead-up to World Pride.










11,625 6,941

– 9,978









$ 3,912

$ 17,698

Workshops, conferences and volunteer expenses


VOLUNTEERS Abhijit M. Adrian S. Aidan A. Alan L. Alexandra L. Allisa B. Alvin C. Amy H. Andrea S. Angela L. Annie S. Anthony O. Aqeela N. Aries C. Atom W. Aurora R. Barbara A. Billy F. Bing L. Bora R. Boyan Z. Brian C. Brian Z. Bridges B. Caitlin S. Carmen S. Carolyn D. Catherine L. Chikako N. Chuck Y. L. Colinn V. Constantine C. Danny Y. Darwin A. Darwin J. Davin P. DengMin C. Dento L. Derek Y. Diane L. Doan N. Eddy W. Edward Q. Elaine L. Emi S. Emily H. Erick K. Erika Y.

Esther K. Euan H. Eunjung H. Eva S. Floyd B. Frank Y. Gerson M. Gina C. Giovanni T. Grace H. Grant L. Gregory L. Harry A. Harry L. Henry Chi N. Henry L. Henry N. Hiro T. Hiroyuki A. Hunter W. Hurly M. Hyung Wook C. Inae L. Jacquiline U. Jen C. Jane W. Janet L. Jenny G. Jason C. Jason K. Jayjay R. Jessica O. Jessica Y. Jet M. Jian Ru J. Jihan V. Jin C. Joseph C. Joseph T. Julia L. June V. Justin C. Karen B. K. Chan Karin N. Katherine R. Kaya T. Kazuhiko H. Kevin L.

PERSONNEL, FUNDERS, & SPONSORS Kyu F. Kien N. Leo L. Leo Y. Levi D. Lily S. Ling N. Lorenz B. Lou S. Mai N. Manuel C. Marcus L. Marisa K. Marmar O. Mathuvan M. Megumi S. Mei Ling C. Melissa L. Michael F. Milan K. Minami U. Ming M. Minseok K. Misato O. Moe T. Monika W. Nganaingshok M. Nicolas P. Noppakhao N. Nora D. Okjan D. Orathai B. Philip H. Phornpat T. Phunfsok C. Prachaya C. Pratana C. Qi J. Richard X. River X. Robin A. Roel T. Roger L. Rommel P. Ronnie C. Rudi B. Ryosuke T. Ryuichi A.

Samson R. Sean Y. Seong Hoon K. Shiaw Wei S. Shohei, K. Simon I. Som K. Song Soon Y. Sophia L. Stella K. Stephen Y. Stephanie W. Steven H. Steven L. Steven S. Sun L. Tak L. Terence T. Teru H. Tetsuro M. Thana T. Ti P. Tim N. Tony C. Victor P. Vince H. Wenyi L. Xueying G. Yachun L. Yan M. Yee Ling L. Yoichi H.

Board of Directors 2013-2014 Andre Goh (Board Chair) Giovanni Temansja (Vice Chair) Joel Tran Bansil (Treasurer) Karen Tsang (Secretary) Carmen Subibi (Director) Jazzmine Manalo (Director) Paul Cadiente (Director) Paul Fernandez (Director) Agnes Tong (Director) Emily Hao (Director) Outgoing Board Members Andre Goh Carmen Subibi Michael Adia Staff Members Noulmook Sutdhibhasilp Daniel (Tiane) Le Richard Utama Mezart Daulet Trisha Steinberg Andrew Miao Christian Hui Kenneth Poon Ryan Tran Chris An Brian-Bao Ly Cassandra Nguyen Jenny S. Cheng

Funders AIDS Community Action Program, Public Health Agency of Canada (ACAP) AIDS Bureau, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care AIDS Prevention Community Investment Program, City of Toronto Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Canadian Institute for Health Research Ontario HIV Treatment Network Rainbow Grant, Community One Foundation Investment in Youth Engagement Grant Corporate and Community Sponsors Asian Xpress Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine Gilead Sciences, Inc. Holiday Inn Toronto Bloor-Yorkville iSkin Inc. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Merck Pharmaceuticals Moss Park PharmaChoice Pharmacy PACE Pharmacy Simple Cures Chinese Medicine Wellness Six Degrees Wellness Spa Excess Taoist Taichi Society of Canada Trillium College ViiV Healthcare

Outgoing Staff Amutha Samgam Bebe Szerelmes Chie Takano Reeves Heywon Kim Niki Joy Marohnic Sumit Joe Thongpale Summet Student Ray Garcia Placement Student Jing Ren Annual Report Design Ryan Tran 19

ASIAN COMMUNITY AIDS SERVICES (ACAS) 260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 410 Toronto, Ontario M5T 2E4 Tel: 416-963-4300 Fax: 416-963-4371 Charitable Number: 889432431 RR0001 20