Talk to your local Health Promotion Advisor at your District Health Board if you want to consider using the church setting to reduce alcohol harm in your community.

In the Auckland region, there are two major health promotion projects in Pacific churches:

Enua Ola

  • Enua Ola is a community action project supporting church or community groups to establish health committees within their groups and strengthen communication networks. The aim of Enula Ola is to empower, educate and support Pacific people to lead physically active lifestyles and also to adopt healthier eating behaviours.
  • The initiative is developed by the Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) and there are currently 34 participating groups and Churches in the North Shore and West Auckland.
  • Visit their facebook https://www.facebook.com/ENUA-OLA-121390134620542/

Healthy Village Action Zones (HVAZ)  

  • The HVAZ is an initiative of the Auckland District Health Board with the aim to enable Pacific communities to make healthy lifestyle choices by means of collaborative action between key stakeholders (e.g. Primary Health Organisations, Pacific churches in the Auckland region) and support Pacific communities to develop their own solutions to their health priorities
  • Healthy village action zones are set up within the district to support Pacific churches in setting up health committees and strengthen community networks. Parish Community Nurses are connected with primary health care organisations [49].
  • Visit thier page - http://www.adhb.govt.nz/planningandfunding/pacific%20health.htm

Things to consider

Consider the following when developing programmes within churches [48,50,51]:

1. Programme is culturally appropriate, holistic and has a flexible design to meet the needs of diverse Pacific ethnic groups  

  • understand the cultural/social context and involve key informants/advisors;
  • enable to community to deliver at least part of the programme so that autonomy, leadership and sustainability is enhanced.

2. An everything-on-the-table approach

  • Leadership, communication and relationship-building are key elements for successful church-based health promotion programmes.   
  • Involve consultation with all sectors of the Pacific community, including church and community leaders and youth.
  • Involve churches in recruitment of the participants.

3. Ensure that the activities do not lead to self-doubt and negative outcome such as guilt and depression.

4. Provide life-skills education and support to enhance motivation, self-management and strengthen church community relationships.

5. Develop ongoing plans so that the programme as a long-term future.

6. Review and reflect on progress.