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E fofo e le alamea le alamea – the solutions lie within our communities

We are extremely proud to promote the successes of our Pasifika Community funded Initiatives, which have been funded through the Waka Hourua Community fund.  

In the past 12 months, these initiatives, led by mostly small Pasifika groups, have been delivering with quality and innovation, commitment and intentionality.  

The initiatives are located across the country, providing individual approaches and targeting unique and distinct populations. This offers an array of diversity in how initiatives are reaching their target communities, and the resources they develop (or co-develop) as a result. The success of most of the programmes supports the idea encapsulated by the Samoan proverb…

E fofo e le alamea le alamea” – the solutions for our issues lie within our own communities. 

All but one initiative has been completed.

The results  speak for themselves and on most accounts have exceeded expectations and delivered on the outcomes sought out, including:

  • families, whānau and communities being strongly connected to one another
  • families, whānau and communities having their own approaches and plans in place, actively building resilience and reducing the risks of suicide
  • people informed about and assisted to access the services available to them
  • community leaders empowering people, fostering resilience and bringing people and resources together
  • families, whānau and communities having stronger relationships and confidence to be able to talk about their difficulties, and
  • people bereaved by suicide receiving the support they need within their families and whānau.

Exceeding expectations 

Some initiatives have also developed high quality resources i.e. educational DVDs, help cards, banners and even an online postvention tool to wellbeing. 

Some of the initiatives stood out, exceeding expectations with a combination of factors.

One initiative showed a number of positive ‘unexpected’ outcomes – participants reflected through feedback that being part of the initiative had ignited and encouraged massive life changes, improving their overall wellbeing. 

One participant said…

from the programme I was stirred so much that I gained the confidence to enter into a speech competition to discuss suicide prevention.”   

One participant in another creative theatre intervention spoke about the results of the creative intervention…

the performance made parents and church teachers very tearful, so that they wanted to ensure they spend more time and talk to their children more.” 

Many projects have indirectly built community capacity and capability through volunteers, and strengthened families and communities by encouraging young and older Pasifika to talk (and listen) more, and with compassion and understanding towards each other.  

Reaching into the heart of communities 

The most surprising result was the cumulative reach that the initiatives have achieved. 

Overall, the 17 initiatives were able to spread the message of Pasifika suicide prevention to more than 318,300 people – which exceeds the number of Pasifika people in New Zealand.

The way community groups cultivated this extraordinary reach was through direct contact via theater performers, educational workshops, and multi- and social media i.e. magazines, television, radio, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. 

We congratulate those who have worked diligently, passionately and humbly to support and bring hope to their communities for preventing suicide.


Le Va has been privileged to have worked with humble and hardworking Pasifika champions in this space, and look forward to supporting and maintaining our positive relationships in the future. 

About the author •

Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.