Tufunga Fonua

Illness has been a stealth killer of many of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children. This can either continue to be our reality or we can create solutions for our families and our community…TOGETHER. The Faith Advisory Board (FAB) project was created to bring young leaders from our different churches together to create those solutions so that less of our loved ones are claimed by disease. We hope to foster a new wave of leaders in our Tongan community who can be faithful learners and teachers of wellness so a strong and healthy generation can rise up to live out the dreams of our parents. The FAB curriculum is rooted in Tongan culture and history while teaching a framework of health and wellness as the foundation of a thriving Tongan community in America.
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There is an indescribable sense of mana felt when attending Potopoto ‘A Niu Mui FAB Sessions. Being of Samoan descent, I feel welcomed and embraced in that space by my Tongan kainga (community). Each session has been a mind-blowing experience that develops my critical thinking from a culturally relevant standpoint to my experience as a Pacific Islander-“American.” I love learning about different Pacific Islander cultures because it gives me a sense of identity, not just my Samoan culture, but all Pacific Islander cultures collectively. You can see our similarities outweigh our differences which unites us as commUNITY! This session was on Fonua (land), which demonstrated the perspective of Tongan ancestors and how they tauhi fonua (sustain the land to create harmony/beauty between the people and the land). This session impacted all of us in that space. Reflecting back on it, the structure of our session allowed for us to make the connection between the way our ancestors invested in and nurtured their fonua to how we treat the fonua our ancestors migrated to which we now consider “home.”

Thinking about it now, many of us, who weren’t born or even lived for an extended period of time in the islands, still have a deep connection to the land — spiritually and physically. Many of us long to go back, wonder what it was like, or wish we were more immersed in our cultures. Hence my participation in Potopoto ‘A Niu Mui.

 In addition to making the connection and understanding of Fonua and it’s relevance to our outlook on the lands we now call home, our conversations were enriched by hearing from Melenaite and her recent journey back to Tonga to accompany her Dad for her uncle’s putu (funeral). You can feel the connection she made with her motherland, her connectedness through her (relationships) with family she’s never met, and the honor she felt fulfilling her customary responsibilities within her family. Through her experiences, you can feel how her trip back to Tonga gave her a stronger sense of identity that deepened her connection to her heritage, culture and FONUA!

Malo e ngaue Sina Uipi, ‘Alisi Tulua, Fifita Tutoe & Kulaea Falevai.
‘Ofa lahi atu kotoa,

Taniela Naha-Ve’evalu

*http://www.hauora.co.nz/resources/22ndJan2.pdf

Tauhi Fonua

Illness has been a stealth killer of many of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children. This can either continue to be our reality or we can create solutions for our families and our community…TOGETHER. The Faith Advisory Board (FAB) project was created to bring young leaders from our different churches together to create those solutions so that less of our loved ones are claimed by disease. We hope to foster a new wave of leaders in our Tongan community who can be faithful learners and teachers of wellness so a strong and healthy generation can rise up to live out the dreams of our parents. The FAB curriculum is rooted in Tongan culture and history while teaching a framework of health and wellness as the foundation of a thriving Tongan community in America.

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Faith Advisory Board’s Potopoto ‘A Niu Mui resonates with my spirit long after each session. I can feel the synapses of my inner being connecting to a land that I have not returned to since 1987. The cultural values that I can attribute to my heritage is made relevant and brought full circle with my life in America. The culturally tailored curriculum reinforces the idea that we as young Pacific Islanders are worth the investment. Our dialogue encourages me to look more objectively at my surrounding environment and evaluate how things could be better.

Melevesi Fifita

*http://www.hauora.co.nz/resources/22ndJan2.pdf

Langa Fonua

Illness has been a stealth killer of many of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children. This can either continue to be our reality or we can create solutions for our families and our community…TOGETHER. The Faith Advisory Board (FAB) project was created to bring young leaders from our different churches together to create those solutions so that less of our loved ones are claimed by disease. We hope to foster a new wave of leaders in our Tongan community who can be faithful learners and teachers of wellness so a strong and healthy generation can rise up to live out the dreams of our parents. The FAB curriculum is rooted in Tongan culture and history while teaching a framework of health and wellness as the foundation of a thriving Tongan community in America.
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In such a short amount of time, the FAB curriculum tugs at your heart and a deep connection is made to our Island Home of Tonga, reminding us WHO  we are and WHERE we come from. During the sessions that I’ve attended, a feeling of respect, and humility overwhelms me as I sit and listen to everyone share their experiences, feelings, and LOVE. I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn from such passionate people who are devoted to preserving the Tongan customs and sharing the Tongan Culture with me. Thank you for making the connection, Sina, Alisi, Fifita, and Kulaea. Malo e ngaue!
 
 ‘Ofa lahi atu,
Melenaite Fifita
*http://www.hauora.co.nz/resources/22ndJan2.pdf

Kumi Fonua

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the FAITH ADVISORY BOARD (FAB)!! So far, we have done a total of five sessions, but the photo below was taken last week at our very FIRST session of 2016! Our first two themes were broken up into four sessions, which were about AKA (root) and MO’UI (life).

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Here is some background on FAB and why the work we’re doing is so important!

Illness has been a stealth killer of many of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children. This can either continue to be our reality or we can create solutions for our families and our community…TOGETHER. The Faith Advisory Board (FAB) project was created to bring young leaders from our different churches together to create those solutions so that less of our loved ones are claimed by disease. We hope to foster a new wave of leaders in our Tongan community who can be faithful learners and teachers of wellness so a strong and healthy generation can rise up to live out the dreams of our parents. The FAB curriculum is rooted in Tongan culture and history while teaching a framework of health and wellness as the foundation of a thriving Tongan community in America.

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This session was about the environment and how it impacts our health. The theme was  (relationship), which is the way in which people are connected. Our health is more than just our personal responsibility; it is affected by our surroundings and conditions that we didn’t create ourselves. Understanding the importance of with our environment and our neighbors can help us see our world very differently; it can help us want a healthier world.

Check out what some of our amazing FAB members shared about their experience!

http://www.blog.apiopa.org/?p=647&preview=true

http://www.blog.apiopa.org/?p=668&preview=true

http://www.blog.apiopa.org/?p=653&preview=true

*http://www.hauora.co.nz/resources/22ndJan2.pdf

 

Support APIOPA: 26 Sustainers for 26 Miles

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This Valentine’s Day, Sina, Kyle and Scott are committing themselves to their ultimate love…APIOPA! That’s right, on February 14th, APIOPA is running the 31st LA Marathon. For the past 7 months, this crew has been training with our friends from Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) each Saturday morning. Do you know what it’s like to wake up 5am every Saturday for all those months? It’s brutal. But why did they do it? Because they love APIOPA: the staff, the community, the family. And now we need your help!

For the month of February leading up to our LA Marathon, we want to recruit 26 new sustainers for APIOPA. This means we find 26 awesome people to say they are willing to donate at least $5 each month of the year. This means we want to find 26 amazing people who are each willing to support the 26 miles we plan to run that day. If you are an APIOPA fan and haven’t had a chance to give, now is the time! Please go here: http://www.apiopa.org/sustainer/

sustainer push

Is Fresh HiFi Still Fresh?

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By Ailene Ignacio

 

By now, most folks know me as that girl from P-Town that used to work on corner store conversions in the underserved community of Historic Filipinotown. But now that the Fresh HiFi project is no longer funded, what does this mean for the work we’ve done with our local partners, stores and community institutions alike. And more importantly, what does it mean for the actual community, the people who work and live to survive in this struggling part of Los Angeles? Where do we all go from here? I didn’t know then, and honestly, I still don’t know now. But I am willing to work to find out.

Read More

Phone Check-In With Our Farmer

IMG_20160125_163927By Scott Chan

Not sure if you know this but every Monday, Kyle on staff hops on the phone to talk with our friend and farmer Youa to figure out how we can work together to expand our Roots program. Youa runs a small farm up in Fresno and, as we see him, is a badass, up-and-coming leader in the Hmong community. While I am not able to hop on the calls each week, it has been great to listen in on what happens when consumers and producers are directly connected. It has been so eye-opening to connect with Youa and hear about the daily grind he has to go through. Definitely more to come but wanted to share a quick snippet of what happens to make something awesome like Roots CSA happen!

Join the APIOPA Hiking Crew

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By Scott Chan

This past Sunday APIOPA took a hike up at Griffith Park to learn more about the Griffith Park South Water Recycling Project, which is a fancy/long way of saying there is money being invested to capture El Nino rainwater to help water grass/plants nearby! If you want to check out pictures of our fun hike, click here. Awesome photos like this one of Ranko and Tucker exist in this album!

10365544_10105226022465906_7944926282809797874_o Also! We have started the APIOPA Hiking Crew facebook group. If you want to stay in the loop about upcoming APIOPA hikes, please join. It’s a great way to stay connected with fellow hikers without the drag of joining another listserv/google group!

APIOPA Meets with KPCC’s Take Two

IMG_20160114_133625By Scott Chan

Thanks to our friend Quincy Surasmith, we received an invitation to talk with producers/reporters/staff with KPCC’s Take Two. The meeting was an invitation to many API-serving organizations across LA County to come and chat with the radio station’s crew about possible stories, ways for collaboration and more.

I walked away from the meeting somewhat hopeful. While the work/outreach on API health has not been super in the past, it was definitely a good start for them to even host this type of meeting. A good test for whether or not they care about API communities is if they take the feedback we gave them at the meeting, and actually do something with it.  Read More

CSA Retreat aka Spaghetti with Bok Choy

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By Scott Chan

Earlier this month APIOPA brought together the site leaders from all our different CSA pickup locations to discuss what we can do to improve our CSA for the upcoming Spring 2016 season. We at APIOPA are SUPER lucky because we have very dedicated individuals who go out of their way to ensure their nonprofit, community center, and workplace can carry yummy Asian veggies year-round. We’ll be sharing some of our findings soon but rest assured, we heard you loud and clear on the bittermelon!

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As a fun treat, Kyle and Paul from APIOPA staff cooked food for the site leaders. Spaghetti with bok choy anyone?