The UnWANTED Project

Description of Program

What is the intervention/program/project?
The UnWANTED Project developed and distributed resources made by and for youth living in small, rural communities in Northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Youth from communities across the region attending a collegiate campus school created a graphic novel that addressed four themes related to sexual health, including HIV:
1.     Sex, drugs and alcohol;
2.     Access to information in the North;
3.     STIs, HIV and Hep C: Knowledge and gaps;
4.     Condom use.
After producing the graphic novel, youth developed a series of accompanying resources, such as posters, magnetic trading cards, a calendar, website animation and mouse pads. The youth also developed a drama production, which was shown in conjunction with workshops sessions.  Youth were involved in all aspects of the project, from the development phase through to the evaluation.
What is the goal/objective of the intervention/program/project?
The project goal was to create a youth resource, made by youth and for youth, to reduce the number of STIs and HIV infections in the North.
Why was the intervention/program/project originally developed?
The project was developed to identify what issues youth in the North face with regards to sexual health. It was based on responses to a needs assessment.
How did you develop this intervention/program/project?
The project was developed in collaboration with a professor at the University of Manitoba through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant. The project began with a needs assessment conducted through a knowledge, attitude and behaviour survey in schools. The project team returned to participating schools and conducted focus groups. In the schools, youth from the ages of 16-21 identified ways to disseminate sexual health information back to their peers. Youth developed a plan to create a graphic novel, including the themes, characters, storyline, resources and evaluation process. After the novel was complete, the youth indicated that they needed more supportive resources. The youth created a variety of other materials and a drama production. Youth received academic credits for their participation in the project. The project was completed in June 2010. Resource distribution is ongoing.


595 Prevention Team and the Play It Safer Network

Program Type

  • Education
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Resource development

Populations Served

  • Indigenous peoples
  • Youth

Contact Information

Name: Carrie Pockette
Position: Education Coordinator
Agency: 595 Prevention Team & Play It Safer Network
Phone: 204-687-8856

Location Information: 

Northern Manitoba/Saskatchewan.
Youth workshops were held in Cranberry Portage, MB.



Project Resources

The graphic novel is online and available at The poster and magnetic training cards are not online but available upon request at no cost (other than shipping charges).

Resources for Program


  • Facilitators (including Play it Safer staff and a drama teacher).
  • A community health representative.
  • A professor at the University of Manitoba, who developed the consent forms, focus groups, etc.
  • Volunteer research advisors.


  • Meetings (development and processes).
  • Food and snacks for youth.
  • $10 gift cards for youth, which were offered in a draw at each meeting in order to incentivize attendance.


  • Development of resources.
  • Printing.
  • Poster, magnet, calendar, etc.

Start Date



Project ended in 2010. Resource distribution is ongoing through CATIE and the Play it Safer network.


Audience/client feedback and satisfaction

  • Student focus groups, paper surveys and online surveys to assess novel’s reach and impact. Feedback sheets were filled out by workshop participants after every session.

Output tracking

  • Number of posters/novel copies produced and distributed to assess extent of dissemination of materials.

Evaluation Terms

Audience/client feedback and satisfaction, Output tracking