CAPTION: Students of Labasa College and Holy Family Primary at the peer education workshop.
IN a bid to keep fit and healthy, a group of Labasa College students shared their knowledge with their little brothers and sisters at Holy Family Primary School on Tuesday to educate them on nutrition and smoke prevention.
The peer education program was part of the Action for Children and The Aged (ACATA) Trust Fiji’s Health and Wellness Outreach Program.
ACATA Trust Fiji executive director and Vodafone World of Difference recipient, Rosan Lal said young people were one of Fiji’s untapped resources in the fight against NCDs.
“The Vodafone World of Difference aspires to implement innovative education program in schools to help children and youth to steer away from health problems.”
“Youths have a unique insight into the psyche of their peers and as such can be more effective in encouraging positive behaviour change by communicating and teaching in a manner that is easily understood,” Mr Lal said.
“Peer educators are also positive role models for their younger peers who may adopt healthier behaviours based on a desire to emulate their older peers. By engaging youths to educate their peers, this innovative non-government organisation hopes to complement traditional classroom teaching methods with other less rigid approaches which aim to encourage real and sustained health related behaviour changes.”
Of the two groups from Labasa College, one performed a play on smoking prevention to students in Classes Seven and Eight while the other taught students in Class Two about nutrition using a fairly informal approach and playing an interactive game to consolidate understanding.
Sarah Downes, the vulnerable population health officer for ACATA Trust Fiji, facilitated the session.
“I’m so proud of these guys because they really are an inspiration to other students. Being involved in this program teaches them important life skills such as teamwork and problem solving, as well as improving their confidence,” Ms Downes said.
ACATA Trust Fiji’s peer education program is being piloted in Labasa College and Holy Family Primary School.