Casimira: It’s more prevalent now than before

Institute for Mission and Research (IMR) of the Pacifi c Theological College director Aisake Casimira. Picture: PTC

Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) in indigenous communities are more prevalent now than in the past, when villagers consumed home-grown locally produced meals.

This, according to research on the resilience of indigenous communities in Vanua Levu spearheaded by the Institute for Mission and Research (IMR) of the Pacific Theological College.

IMR director Aisake Casimira said the study began two weeks ago and covered villages in Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata.

“Lifestyles are becoming more sedentary, digital and less physical, and so the stories of resilience of communities need to be captured now while they can still remember,” he said.

“Though small island nations are often buffeted by storms, natural disasters, and climate change, many indigenous communities continue to rebuild their lives and thrive.

“We can learn how they live and negotiate all the challenges and hardships they face.

“We want to know their source of resilience or their ability to withstand all the changes of time, the disasters, the challenges they faced but still persevered.

“It’s crucial this is produced not just for the benefit of future generations but also to inspire communities today.”

The research was conducted in Wainiika and Nakawaga villages in Cakaudrove, Yaro Village on Kia Island and Nakama Village in Macuata, and Nadua Village in Wainunu district in Bua.

“The IMR carried out the first leg of the research in eight Viti Levu villages across the six provinces of Rewa, Namosi, Ba, Naitasiri, Nadroga and Ra. Two research teams did focus group consultations in the communities and interviews with specific elders to document stories about hardships they faced in the past.”

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