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Faith leading community to a healthier lifestyle

16 June 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Young and old are taking baby steps to a healthier lifestyle through a faith-led health programme in Wellington. 

The Wainuiomata Faith-Led Pacific Health Wellness programme is a collective of four inter-denominational Samoan churches in Lower Hutt, working towards a healthy well-being. 

Community well-being worker, Perise Iupeli from Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley (PHSHV), says the health programme different because of their strong focus on faith.

"We realised we weren't tapping into the richness of our faith," she says.

Iupeli says the programme was planned, initiated and now running on their faith. 

Since it kicked off in February, the programme has been a collaborative effort with the community, focusing on food, fitness, family and faith.

Iupeli says these four elements are the keys to addressing health and well-being issues amongst the Pacific community and all their workshops are strongly rooted in prayer and their faith in God. 

"We can't be strong in one area without the other," she says. "You need to have all four of those components to be able to be strong on the inside and out."

Stir-fry drained pisupo is the new healthy dish on the menu for churches involved in the Wainuiomata Faith-Led Wellness Pacific Health programme. Photo/ Supplied: Pacific Health Hutt Valley. 

PHSHV have run workshops on nutrition and exercise for certain leaders in the community who then initiate it in their local churches.

"The community is basically running with it," says Iupeli. "Because they know what goes in their food now, little changes like water-only, fizz-free or brown rice as opposed to white rice." 

Iupeli says they're pushing for Pacific peoples to look after themselves first. 

"We're so good of taking care of other people before ourselves but you need to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others.

"Our heart is to see our people live long and strong."

PHSHV will be supporting the programme for the next three months before they extend to their Tongan church groups. 

Wainuiomata Faith-Led Wellness Pacific Health programme. Photo/ Supplied: Pacific Health Hutt Valley. 

Family and faith are two of the four components that the Wainuiomata Faith-Led Wellness Pacific Health programme is built on. Photo/ Supplied: Pacific Health Hutt Valley.

Tags: Wainuiomata, Pacific Health Hutt Valley, Perise Iupeli,