Fiji has one of the highest rates of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) in the South Pacific. This could be attributed to the introduction of fast food facilities and the increasing numbers of processed foods availability to the people of Fiji. The fast food industries have effectively been marketing their unhealthy processed foods to Fiji’s urban populace. More and more rural Fijians are selling their naturally organically produced gardens, farms and sea resources and are buying unhealthy processed food items from the counters.
Social Empowerment &Education Program (SEEP) is currently working with 29 Communities in rural Fiji with between 50 to 200 people. These communities are either very marginalized or have some kind of unsustainable development projects like mining, logging and gravel extraction happening in them.
SEEPs core work is to bring these communities into a safe space where they are able to discuss the effects of Globalization in their communities and together to try and seek possible solutions to problems like the high rate of Non-communicable diseases, extreme obesity in young children, which can be linked to several unhealthy behaviors and practices. SEEP visits these communities 2 – 3 times a year to provide training and the catering involves the communities locally grown produce – such as vegetables, root crops and fruits. This encourages the communities to continue to grow the locally grown produce, but also highlights the importance of the nutritional values of the local foods.
Island of Fiji