Report from Christine Rogan
Report from Suia Simi
Report from Robyn Rivett
Photos from FASDAY 2002 New Zealand
I personally wanted to tell you about the First 9.09 breakfast for 2002 in Aotearoa NZ. It was a wonderful Pacific event. Suia Simi and her team worked so hard for this day. The whole front window of the Pacificare building which fronts the mainstreet of the township was covered in a FASDAY display. It will be there for the week to remind passers by about FAS prevention. The room inside was full of people to enjoy a Samoan breakfast feast that would feed the masses. There were posters and information covering the walls. There were handouts for everyone - a programme of the event and speakers organised.
A conch shell drew us to attention to start the proceedings. The new Chairperson from FANZ, Brenda Cavanagh, spoke first, I talked about FASDAY and how it started. A pastor from the local Church spoke and shared in prayer. Suia was MC and rallied her friends and supporters to wage war on FAS and also to wage Victory for what was being acheived.
After the moment of reflection at 9.09, we were invited to join in the entertainment out on the mainstreet (with permission from the local authority) where a vibrant and exciting Pacific Islands dance troupe performed with drums and dance in the warm spring sunshine. It was a celebration of life! It was a thrill to be a part of it! A few of us met briefly afterwards to talk about nxt year and the bits in between.
The day was shared on national television but I will let others talk about that as I wasn’t involved in this. I think other events happened around NZ but I have no details of that either so there may be more to come from us down here in the South Pacific region.
Love to you all,
Thanks for the report Christine. Yes, it was a real successful day and all of you fasworlders have a big share of the credit for it. For without you it would never have happened.
About 18 months ago I searched the net for information on FAS. I saw the butterfly wings flapped FASDay and the Minute of Reflection and, I read that the "oscillation of butterfly wings in Brazil may set off storms in Texas." I felt the urge to do a FASDay something. I marvelled at the strength and persistence of the butterfly’s flappings within me, but the idea lay dormant for a while. It was fanned to life when I joined the FASDAY list earlier this year. One thing led to another, many prayers were offered, and help and support came from everywhere - out of the blue!
Four thousand flyers on the Minute of Reflection and same number of FAS brochures were distributed in our shopping centre and the surrounding areas on the Wednesday and Thursday before FASDay. Three youth groups were involved with the flyer distribution.
Christine has covered the breakfast program well. A colleague commented on how balanced the program was, there was food, their was educational talk on FAS, etc., there was spirituality in the prayers and national anthem, then there was entertainment from the drums & dance groups. The dancing was not part of the plan, and when l saw the performance unfolded, I wondered about the place of such gaiety on a FASDay program. The thought was brushed aside when I reasoned that like all human beings, people/families living with FASD need to take the time to laugh and celebrate life, after all, the whole purpose of the FASDay (as I understand it) is so that those living with FASD could get the best quality life possible for them.
It was a successful day in terms of achievement, and learning which we can now build on. Thank you, Christine and Robyn, for your wonderful support - visit, posters, brochures, world map, and presence at the breakfast. Thank you, Brenda, for attending and speaking at short notice. Thank you all on the FASDAY list for sharing your FASDay ideas, the FASDAY manual etc., those who openly share your experiences and insight into the reality of living with FASD. Your tears, pain, grief, your laughs, hopes and acceptance of reality educate, motivate and energize people like myself whose work would otherwise be empty and dead without the wisdom, insight and knowledge gained from your experience. Thank you.
After 9/9 breakfast:
1. A rep of a very popular Samoan radio station was present at the breakfast and he invited us to talk about fas – so 8.00 – 9.00 pm 9/9/02, two of us from Lavea'i Trust went on air. A friend said that earlier in the day the same radio station broadcasted a report of the breakfast and fas.
2. The Samoa/n Times newspaper 10 Sept carried a good report of the breakfast, FAS message, and a picture of the window display. The same issue of the newspaper had an article on FAS under its Health column.
3. The local Community News 11 Sept paper mentioned the event briefly under the subheading, "Memorial service for babies."
4. The Manukau Courier 19 Sept 2002 covered the breakfast, FAS, and a picture of part of the window display.
The Lavea'i Trust would like to acknowledge and thank you all for your support and participation on the FASDay 2002 activities: The 3 youth groups who distributed the Minute of Reflection flyers (The Papatoetoe Samoan SDA Pathfinder Club, The Reading Clinic Club, and the PapatoetoeYouth Caucus); To all of you who were present at the breakfast (thank you for getting up earlier than usual, and driving safely through the traffic); Luamanuvae K. Faleseuga and the Pacificare Trust family; Robyn Rivett, and Brenda Cavanagh - Fetal Alcohol New Zealand; Christine Rogan - Alcohol Health Watch; Bernadette Pereira - Papatoetoe/Manukau City Council; Rev Garey Clark - Baptist Church Papatoetoe; Leitu Lurch - Leitu's Catering; Ta'i Matenga-Smith, and Lynda Harford - Public Health Promotion Counties Manukau; The Drums of the Pacific; Leslie Vaega (artist) and Anura Jayasekara (photographer) both from Pacificare.
The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome NZ Trust was also active on FASDAY. Not only did we have the privilege of attending the Pacific Breakfast organized by Suia, but national magazine The Woman's Weekly published Shona Davison's story with her son who has FAS. Also a seminar was held in Christchurch during that day, during their Child and Parent week; Psychologist Beverly Lundell appeared on our national television's evening news bulletin; and Developmental Paediatrician, Rosemary Marks, was interviewed on the influential, national programme The Good Morning show, with a parent who has an adopted son with FAS. Unfortunately the latter did not as clearly portray the `no alcohol in pregnancy’ message as we had hoped, although this was clearly stated.
These activities saw a large response from the public wanting to know more, or having `seen’ their child as possibly having FAS or FAE, seeking for a diagnosis.
(Click on the small picture to view larger photo in new window.)
Conch shell blowing; dancers and musicians; window display.
Hostess Suia Simi; moment of reflection; Rev. Garey Clark; Brenda Cavanaugh; Anthem
FAS Community Resource Center
Last Update: October 17, 2002