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Equipping the Selwyn Fiji community with wellbeing tools

Equipping the Selwyn Fiji community with wellbeing tools

  • 26 Jun 2023
received 1788231488224920

(Picture caption: Veilomani Selwyn Fijian Community members are enjoying feeling holistically fit.) 

While it may be on-trend now, the concept of holistic fitness has seen members of the Veilomani Selwyn Fijian Community make 180-degree changes in their lives - for the better. 

Veilomani Selwyn Fijian Community is a close-knit group, whose members are of Fijian heritage and reside in Canterbury’s Selwyn District. 

Secretary Beril Lal says the organisation was established with aims to provide holistic assistance towards the betterment of the South Island-based Fijian community.

Unfortunately for the Veilomani Selwyn Fijian community, its members who mostly work at the freezing works, were hit hard – health-wise, socially and economically - during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the organisation successfully applied for support from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach – Omicron Fund

Established in 2022, the Omicron Fund response aimed to support Pacific communities to prepare, respond and recover from the social and health impacts of the COVID-19 Omicron variant which was running rampant at the time throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. 

“The assistance came at the right time when our community was plagued with COVID,” Beril says.

“We needed to assist with our community’s recovery from COVID-19 and do what we could to bring awareness on how to beat the virus.” 

Wellbeing and keeping its members safe and healthy were at the crux of the group’s efforts during the pandemic, and PACO funding was used to facilitate workshops, fitness activities, a vaccination drive, COVID care packages and welfare support.

Following lockdown, a netball team was formed to compete in the Selwyn Mixed Social Netball Competition. 

“I’d like to think the netball team is a result of that awareness we shared about preventing illness and staying holistically fit throughout those challenging pandemic times,” Beril adds. 

The positive work of Veilomani Selwyn Fijian Community has continued post-pandemic, with unlimited access to COVID care packs, and the formation of a volleyball team which competes in the weekly Canterbury Social Volleyball Competition. 

Most importantly, the concept of being holistically fit and staying in top shape physically, spiritually, emotionally and socially, has stuck with community members, who are now dedicated to their own wellbeing. 

It is a gamechanger for people who adopt this lifestyle; it focuses on making you healthy from the inside out rather than at the surface level, something we could all benefit from.

Visit the Funding page on the MPP website for current funding opportunities.