The Easter holiday on Monday will forever be remembered by people of Lepa and Saleapaga on the south coast of Upolu.
While the rest of the country relaxed and recovered from the festivities of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, people of all ages from both villages were among more than 100 people who participated in a diabetes awareness walk organised by the 1 Touch Ministry and Nobesity Samoa.
The walk, which began from Lepa and finished at Saleapaga, is a continuation of the inaugural diabetes awareness campaign held last month in Apia.
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, organised the event by connecting with the church Ministers and inviting their respective members to join the walk.
The event, which included a 30 minutes exercise programme involving children right to the elderly, was hosted by Rugby Hall of Fame legend, Muliagatele Brian Lima.
At the conclusion of the event, the Ministry, Nobesity Samoa and businessman, Jesse Shi, donated a range of sporting gears to the participating churches.
1Touch Ministry’s Director, Pastor Lenny Solomona, said this was a way of trying to promote daily exercise along with improving nutrition.
U.S. Embassy Apia, Charge d’Affaires, Tony Greubel, was also present.
“I’m really grateful that I got the opportunity to come to Saleapaga and support Pastor Lenny and One Touch Ministries and Nobesity Samoa and help people fight diabetes and other non-communicable diseases with a message of exercise and healthy eating,” he said.
“God has really blessed Samoa with wonderful soil, land, rainfall and an abundance of natural produce available to our people and I want to encourage our beautiful people of Samoa to take advantage of this."
“God made it all for us and here at our disposal. I had such a wonderful time with Pastor Lenny and Tai and their team.”
Pastor Lenny added a similar awareness programme will be held at Savai’i with the date to be confirmed later.
“This will now become an annual campaign where we take this message to different parts of Samoa. Team work makes the dream work. Is it a lot of work? Yes, especially when your team are all volunteers. I can’t speak highly enough of our team. They’re people of vision, leadership and most of, passion,” he said.
“Since we launched our programmes in 2014 (One Touch Ministry) and 2015 (Nobesity Samoa), we’ve had many challenges, and with these challenges come restrictions such as finances, resources, equipment, transport, and other areas."
“However, this team has never laid or down or have allowed such challenges to stop the very thing they’re passionate about, and that is the people."
“We do what we do and we love why we do it because of our passion. As long as the vision and the passion are alive, we’ll keep on keeping on. And that is because this vision comes from God.”