about us

About us

ABRPO’s office is located in Tkaronto, the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and the Missisaugas of the New Credit – as well as home to many peoples who are displaced by the ongoing legacy of colonization and community devastation. In our dedication to forming resilient communities and individuals, we strive to center our practice in the treaty rights, self-direction and leadership of Indigenous peoples. We acknowledge the Dish with One Spoon Treaty of this territory, which embodies the practices of hospitality, sharing, and mutual respect. We seek to place these values in the centre of our circle of community.

Many of the tools and practices of ABRPO reflect an Indigenous world view, a holistic perspective and using sharing circles as a way to process both loss and resilience. We are deeply grateful that these teachings have been shared with us.

Mission

The AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO) collaborates with organizations to build worker, agency and community resiliency in the face of AIDS-related multiple loss and transition.

Mandate

The AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario responds to effectively mitigate the impact of AIDS grief and loss on organizations, staff and volunteers and community members living with HIV/AIDS. To achieve this we:

  • assist in assessment and enhancement of individual and agency coping strategies related to loss and transition.develop and deliver agency interventions, educational presentations, workshops, retreats and research initiatives incorporating evidence-based knowledge and bereavement expertise.
  • provide innovative training to organizations, staff and people living with HIV/AIDS to increase communication skills, peer support and community resiliency strategies.
  • ensure excellence in our work through the development of sustaining, relevant, creative and evolving responses to the changing nature of loss within diverse AIDS-impacted communities.

Guiding Principles

We understand that with the changing nature of HIV/AIDS, agency personnel and AIDS-impacted communities are relating to an illness associated with unpredictability, uncertainty and anticipatory grief, in addition to the pre-existing legacy of multiple losses.

We believe that our work must be:

  • Grounded in solid theory
  • Shaped by the experience of the people we work with
  • Linked to people’s broader life experiences
  • Framed within a context of equity and inclusion
  • Trusting of everyone’s unique capacity to survive, thrive and make meaning

The AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program has a Facilitation Team and a Provincial Advisory Committee. The Team is headed by Director, Thomas Egdorf.

The ABRPO Staff Team

Thomas Egdorf, Director

Thomas Egdorf began working at ABRPO in June of 2018 and has been in the field of HIV for over 24 years.  He has worked in a variety of local, provincial and national organizations.  Over the years, Thomas has presented on a range of topics including: grief and loss; biomedical aspects of HIV and Hep C; leadership; communication; organizational governance; nutrition and cooking skills; and many other topics.  Learning and facilitating the learning of others is a passion of Thomas’.  One of his greatest achievements was the development of the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI).  In 2010 Thomas was inducted into the Ontario AIDS Network Honour Roll and recognized for his leadership.  He was diagnosed HIV positive in 1993.

Muhaari A. Program Coordinator

Muhaari started work with ABRPO in February 2019. His work on HIV started in the year 2000 when He worked as a Peer Educator and a Youth Counsellor, this involved conducting outreaches to offer information and education on HIV and HIV counselling and testing. This work evolved to working as a youth counsellor and later as a HIV counsellor.

He has worked in various capacity support roles that included training HIV counsellors and HIV counsellor trainers (TOT). This involved theoretical, practical and supervision work with the new counsellors. He was also involved in a capacity support project that worked with community-based organizations where He offered training on various topics and organizational development to nascent organizations working in the field of HIV, sexual health and rights.

Muhaari also worked in the biomedical research field for some years as a head of the community outreach and engagement section, this role entailed working in community outreach, sensitization and education as well as in the development of prevention strategies and community engagement. This also involved policy formulation and development of advocacy strategies on human rights, and HIV in vulnerable and at-risk populations.

ABRPO’s Provincial Advisory Committee

  • Micheal Brennan – Executive Director, AIDS Committee of Windsor
  • Tom Hammond – Executive Director, HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health Guelph (PAC Co-chair)
  • Maureen Mahan – Education Development Coordinator, Casey House, Toronto
  • Marvelous Muchenje – Community Health Coordinator, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, Toronto
  • Lana Parenteau – Regional Outreach/Support Services, Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy, Sudbury Region
  • Lisa Toner – Community Outreach Coordinator, ACCESS AIDS Network, Sudbury (PAC Co-chair)
  • Haran Vijayanathan – Executive Director, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Toronto
  • Claudia Medina – Program Director, PASAN, Toronto
  • Cory Wong – Mananger of Support Services, AIDS Committee of Ottawa

Ex-Officio Members

  • Maria Hatzipantelis – Senior Program Consultant, AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs, Provincial Programs Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
  • Michael Blair – Executive Director, Fife House Foundation
  • Thomas Egdorf – Director, AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario

Regional Facilitators;

Betty Ann Rutledge
Christine Leonard
Chris Leonard
Wayne Fitton
Wayne E. Fitton
Rick Julien
Rick Julien