Pacific Blog

Manurewa community respond to call to get Samoans in Auckland vaccinated

via the Cause Collective 

Cover image of Manu Sina assistant coach Cynthia Ta'ala at the Rally Your Village event at the Vodafone Events Centre, via South Seas Healthcare 

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A community group of passionate Manurewa residents has responded to the rallying call to increase the vaccination rate for Samoans in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. 

The Samoa I Manurewa Tutū Fa’atasi (Samoans in Manurewa Stand Together) was formed less than ten days ago but is taking a lead to encourage and mobilise Samoans living in the Manurewa area to make the decision to get vaccinated. 

Made up of local church leaders, community representatives and young people, Samoa I Manurewa Tutū Fa’atasi will be hosting a two-day vaccination drive through event in Manurewa from tomorrow, Friday 8 October - Saturday 9 October, 9am - 4pm. 

Bookings won’t be required for the event held in the Northcrest carpark, 1-13 Maich Road, which has been made available through the Manurewa Business Association.…more


Pacific Blog

Pasifika Futures complete wrap around support eases stress for new mother in MIQ

Via Pasifika Medical Association Group 

Regardless of recent government announcements around changes with Alert Level restrictions for various regions, the demand from Pacific families for support continues to grow and so Pasifika Futures (PFL) - the Whanau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families – will continue to respond to these needs.

One individual in need was a heavily pregnant 24-year-old Samoan woman, who was transferred into MIQ facilities with her partner and their two children, after being directly affected by a cluster in Auckland.  This young mother has requested to stay anonymous but wanted to share her story of gratitude and encouragement for other mothers and young families.

“At first I wasn’t worried because there was still four weeks until my due date so I thought I’d be okay.  We were in MIQ for two days before I needed to go to the hospital. That’s when I started to get a little bit scared. I was admitted into hospital on a Monday and gave birth on Tuesday morning.”

The young mum had given birth three weeks before her due date.…more


Pacific Blog

Kia Manawanui: be strong, steadfast, tolerant, brave, unwavering, and committed.

#Opinion by Taualofa Totua

The phrase Kia Manawanui means to be strong, steadfast, tolerant, brave, unwavering, and committed.

To be honest, like so many in our Moana community, I have been uncomfortable with remaining ‘tolerant’ during this lockdown, let alone committed. But not in the way you may think. I am but one of many Pacific youth fully vaccinated, committed to keeping lockdown rules.  The worthwhile highlight of scrolling through petty arguments on Twitter, is seeing other youth like Hele and Fili amongst the vaccination volunteers, encouraging our people to get the vax.  

Bubble life for my family this time round has improved in some ways and decreased in others. We have 4 of us challenging our internet strength by streaming school, 1 Zooming with their distracted students, another with their patients, and an elder glued to her Radio Samoa Live Facebook stream. My intergenerational bubble has become more reliant on technology than ever before, (our poor power bills). Our once regulated lockdown cooking schedule seems to have given way to mea’ai saiga, Maccas share boxes and toast at 10pm.…more


Pacific Blog

Tama Sāmoa Project 2021

By Dahlia Malaeulu 

The contributing authors for the Tama Sāmoa Project from top left corner in the photo above clockwise: Okirano Tilaia, Emmanuel Solomona, Saul Luamanuvae-Su’a, Aleki Leala, Liko Alosio, Senio Sanele, Darcy Solia, Elijah Solomona, Dr. Sadat Muaiava, Israel Risati Sua-Taulelei, Isaac Sanele, Mikaele Savali, Simati Leala, Atama Cassidy.

Our forthcoming YA book, Tama Sāmoa, is a story based on Sione, Lima, Tavita and Filipo who are high school friends, uso or brothers. They are part of a special letter-writing project that helps to start a brave new conversation, an open and honest talanoa with themselves starting with the words, Dear Uso … Here they share the cultural challenges they face, and without realising it, their need to belong, to be accepted and the impact this has on their wellbeing overall.

The book also includes student study questions #LiteracyIntegration #RichLiteracyResource #VersatileText and the amazing Tama Sāmoa Project.…more


Pacific Blog

Rebecca Sang Yum shares her experience after testing positive for Covid

* TW COVID/Tubes/Hospital Images.

Young Samoan woman Rebecca Sang Yum is based in Sydney.  She tested positive for Covid and shares her frightening experience after she was admitted to hospital.

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Some of you may or may not know but I tested positive for COVID and was diagnosed with severe COVID pneumonitis. I was admitted to Liverpool Hospital and was taken care of by the doctors and nurses in ICU. The inflammation of my lungs as a result of COVID made it almost impossible for me to breathe. Every day and night I had nasal prongs in-connected to oxygen so that I could still operate. I had a urinary catheter inserted in me, wore adult diapers and got changed and dressed by the nurses.

I couldn’t eat and my body was weak. I had fevers, a productive cough, sore throat, chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Most times I felt like I was suffocating and that when I close my eyes I wouldn’t wake up.…more


Pacific Blog

VEA MAFILE'O - Tongan Film maker on the rise

Mālō e Lelei, My name is Vea Mafile'o and I am Scottish, English, Māori and Tongan from Tongoleleka, Ha'apai.

We need to have a voice on screen, so Pasifika women get to see stories on screen from our perspectives. Society puts us in such a box especially women of colour, we are all so judgy (I am too) about how we should look, think, act, behave, but as we all know there is no one size fits all.

So we need to know that it's ok to be a mixture of things, to be influenced by many different things, to be made up of different cultures that all have different values, challenges and to adapt to our environment. 

We have the right to chose what fits us best, there is no right or wrong way, you are never going to please everyone and so we shouldn't have to. What we go through as women most men will never ever understand, and as brown women, that's adding a whole other layer.…more


Pacific Blog

"It will Die" - Samoan Language

By Lefaoali'i Dion Enari 

Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa (Samoa language week) is not only a time to celebrate, but also reflect upon and address our language issues. Although Samoan is the second most spoken language in Auckland, and the third most spoken in New Zealand, it is experiencing decline. The decrease in language usage is both visible in statistics and everyday interactions, particularly among those who are New Zealand born. Sadly, if we are not careful, ‘it will die’ in 3 generations. The fact that many Samoans would not be able to understand this article if it were written in Samoan, is in itself concerning.

Before looking at ways to sustain the Samoan language, I believe we must first remember why it’s important. As I reflect upon my discussions with Matai, scholars, families and educators, we were unanimous, in our belief that it was a measina (treasure). We also identified this measina as the window into the Samoan world. It is through our language, that we are able to fully access, marinate, and explore the wisdom we inherit.…more


Pacific Blog

ONLINE BULLYING IN SAMOA RESULTS IN TRAGEDY

** Trigger Warning - this story that you're about to read contains references to topics such as cyber bullying and youth suicide ** 

A recent family tragedy has highlighted the need for greater awareness and positive action, writes Nah Folasa.

Just this week our family was devastated by the suicide of my 15 year old cousin. Her crime: A victim of on line bullying. 

Like most Samoan families we live close. There is always an intergenerational mix around the dinner table, we share our love, food, land and resources and we help one another.

As a family we cannot ever understand the hopelessness which she must have felt and the only way to escape this harassment was to take her own life. We never contemplated that this would ever occur in our family.…more


Pacific Blog

#OPINION God's Plan - leaving the results of the next election "Up to the Lord"

Last night the Samoan head of State Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, revoked the results of the general election held on the 9th of April and has instructed the nation to vote again on the 21st of May due to the continued deadlock in Samoa (both parties are on 26 MPs each) 

The leader of FAST, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa does not agree with this decision and has spoken out about actions that she calls wrong and unlawful - “We denounce this behaviour, and the misuse of resources and public officials to hold on to power. We must follow this process without diversion or trickery,” she said in a press briefing.

However, the caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has commended the Head of State for his decision to call a fresh election and said that his party leaves the results of the next election "Up to the Lord" 

Journalist Va'ai Nah Folasa asks the question "What if Gods plan doesn't suit your own personal plan?" 

Last week I wrote an article on Samoa's spiritual and constitutional foundation on God.…more


Pacific Blog

Ms Sunshine Organic Farms, Samoa presents … Growing with Mother Nature 2022

By Floris Niu, Initiative Creator/Cocoa Farmer for Ms Sunshine Organic Farms

Samoa’s first Women’s Farming Calendar, featuring 12 cocoa and mixed-crop growers, their stories, and the attempt to revive traditional or organic farming practices, at grassroots level.

Farming by the Moon:

The ancients observed how the moon affected the tides and by tracking it alongside the sun, they developed calendars to predict agricultural rhythms. The sun was the life giving force, but the moon played an important role in predicting rainfall.

Polynesians understood and moved with the Moon as it proved to them that everything is connected. They followed the Moon phases to plant certain crops and to fish in particular ways or at a particular time, to prevent over fishing. 

They thrived under the guidance of the Moon’s harmony with the rest of Nature and existence.…more