It’s not news that obesity and diabetes diagnosis rates are the highest amongst Samoan and Pacific people. So a group of ambitious Samoans living in Melbourne are tackling the issue head on in an attempt to make Samoan people take more responsibility for their own health.
The ‘Walking Samoans’ walk, is an initiative launched by the newly formed Samoa Community Advisory Council Victoria Incorporated (SCACVI) recently to promote active and healthy living.
Spokespersons for SCACVI Pulotu Canada McCarthy says the ‘Walking Samoans Victoria’ will promote the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way for the average Samoan family to exercise regularly. His company CANTOA sponsored the first walk on Anzac Day by way of food, t-shirts and water.
“Our Pacific Health Statistics will not change for the better unless our own community take accountability for their health,” he says.
“No amount of money from the government will make people healthy if they are not prepared to step up and help themselves. As a community focused organisation, SCACVI and CANTOA are helping to engage our people to understand the importance of this.”
Pulotu says the council has a target to build a membership of 500 plus members within a year and believe this target is achievable. The initiative has been assisted by Diabetes Australia and SCACVI welcomes more supporters and sponsors – with an objective to make it a long-term project to benefit the Samoan and Pacific communities in Victoria and Australia.
Video: A little Zumba after the Walk
The walk is only the beginning of more exciting initiatives by the new council aimed at addressing a rapidly growing Melbourne Samoan Community which in turn is creating more need for community leadership programmes of which there are little to none actively being implemented in Melbourne.
SCACVI are also working with the Melton Council towards the Samoa Independence Celebrations in June and also the Melton Police in an aim to address issues such as assisting Pacific Youth caught up in the challenges of the justice system.
Join the next Walking Samoans walk! This Saturday 5th May, 7am, Buckingham Reserve Park, Sunshine West, Vic 3020