Engaging Pasifika for Cantabrians
Guest Blog: Norman Iosia Mene-Vaele (supported by Esther Faitala)
Engaging Pasifika workshops are always both stimulating (hopefully for the listener and participant) and, educational and challenging. Stimulating discussions that often rely on the oral tradition of transmitting information often from a sociological perspective, underpinned by philosophy and theology with physical implications.
The educational value was in the practical delivery of various Vā-centric scenarios that Eroni, Esther and Ben delivered. Teasing out case scenarios creating a thoughtful feedback loop via participant interaction. These were reinforced by short films that engaged participants to meaningfully interact with what they experienced.
Teaching Va-centric scenarios is challenging in that the Vā concept is not so easily communicated across the various layers of our health system from public health through to tertiary care. My stance has been an attempt at bridging the philosophical/spiritual gap using both a wider evidence based lens which does accept tried and true schools of thought that are premised on both physics and metaphysics.
In the hope that we can build on the slowly growing research foundations of pacific studies to date. Having my wife Peati give some practical examples of both her past work as a Pacific Health Promoter in the area of cervical screening and the surveys she undertook to improve the screening stats did in fact do this but moreover she used the stats to improve the Vā between public health and primary care with the outcomes being an increase in PI screens, increase in community and primary care interface and many many more.
Well done Le Va team the work in this space is certainly not an easy one simply because the information base we as Pacific have to draw from to articulate the Pacific experience is both wide and deep. O le tofa mamao.
Norman Iosia Mene-Vaele