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September 19 2019

Every year since 2017, with the financial support of the French Pacific Fund and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT),the Pacific Community (SPC) has hosted Pacific youth to take part in the “Wake Up!” project.

Wake Up! is designed to improve young people’s awareness and knowledge on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their associated risk factors. In order to ensure a healthy future for Pacific youth, the project also aims at sharing youth and people’s friendly NCD prevention and control messages using different media. This year 2019, young people from eight different countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna) joined wake up training workshop in Noumea from 27 to 29 August to develop comic strips under the guidance of professional artists.


Cook Islands Team
To raise awareness on the burden of NCDs in the Cook Islands community, Ngatamaine and his team creates a superhero who combat NCDs i.e. the Coconut King demonstrating good daily habits for a healthy life. 

Fiji Team
Vika, from the Fijian team, wanted to  involve in Wake Up! this year because of her friends who took part Wake Up project in previous year. She said comic is a way to reach out many people of all ages particularly younger ones. 

New Caledonia Team
Yoran, a member of the New Caledonian team learned the risks of eating unhealthy processed food. His team decided to focus on alcohol abuse, which is a major problem for young New Caledonians.​​​


Solomon islands
Bradley, the Solomon Islands Youth, said that many people have died from mouth cancers through chewing betel nut. His comic strip tells the story of two brothers, one of whom dies from chewing betel nut on a regular basis. The other brother then decides to become an advocate for healthy lifestyle.


The Tokelau team wanted to promote Pacific-island-style comic strips. Junior Fatia, a member of the team, explained that their project is to raise awareness to prevent NCDs in their Community.



Taniela from the Tongan team said that NCDs are killers and can affect anyone but they can be prevented by practicing healthy lifestyles. The team’s comic strip shows the negative effects of cigarettes on a pregnant woman.



The Vanuatu team’s comic strip shows two friends with opposing lifestyles, explained Robea. They meet in the future and the one who has unhealthy lifestyles realizes that he has to make lifestyle changes if he wants to have a better and healthier future.



Wallis and Futuna
The group of youth from the islands of Wallis and Futuna wants to take part in the project because people in their islands have been seriously affected by NCDs. Violène explained their comic strip project was designed to educate little children (3 to 5 years old) about the negative effects of a poor diet, such as obesity.



The final versions of their comic strips will be available on the SPC website before the end of 2019. Watch this space!

Feedback from participants