April 29, 2011

Tsunami Puppet Show

One of W-CAP's first projects was to create a puppet show that addressed fears of the tsunami. The facilitators wrote the script, made the puppets, recorded the script, wrote a song in both languages, learned to work the puppets, and arranged to give our show at schools around the island.
We first went to a school in Tula, one of the villages severely hit by the tsunami. Fortunately no lives were lost, but the students are still traumatized by the memory of it all and its lasting effects.

These are the six characters dancing before the show. There's a frog, turtle, octopus, clam, shark, and starfish.
This is a cute girl named Marisa (on the right) with her friends.

We performed the show 4 times in different classrooms. The teachers were so sweet to let us come.

In this picture you can see temporary classrooms set up by a local construction company. Tula School has two, one is being used for the cafeteria and the other is the preschool, since those portions of the school haven't been repaired yet. You can see that the school is right on the beach!

Here we were with the older students (grades 6-8). I thought they'd be bored with the show, but they loved it!

Here are our performing puppeteers in action!

We drove up the the NOAA station afterwards and saw people settling up in the hills. That is a FEMA tent set up next to their make shift shelter.  Just imagine facing a cyclone in that!

April 27, 2011

Good Nutrition A Family Tradition

We were very happy to be written about in the Samoa News!  A special thanks to reporter Jeff Hayner for sharing the details of one of our past nutrition fairs.

Koreti Feliuai (pictured with her son) is the proud winner of one of two Origin Energy two burner gas stoves given away at last Saturday’s Nutrition Fair at the Utulei Beach Park. The fair was put on by the Women’s Community Action Program (W-CAP), in collaboration with the WIC program.
"Make good nutrition a family tradition" - Women's Community Action Program joins WIC for Nutrition Fair

by Jeff Hayner
visit samoanews.com to view the complete article

Making nutrition a family affair is what the Women's Community Action Program (W-CAP), in collaboration with the Women Infants & Children (WIC) program, hoped to accomplish at their Nutrition Fair at Utulei Beach Park on Saturday.

According to Mrs. Ali Pili of the W-CAP program, the Nutrition Fair was conceived to help families develop new habits, thus the theme, ‘Make good nutrition, a family tradition.'

"We are trying to show families new, nutritious ways to eat, and to learn good healthy habits. We are having free food samples, and a food demonstration by Chef Sualua Tupolo who is the executive chef for the school lunch program. We will also be having children's nutrition activities and games for prizes, and a drawing for an Origin two burner gas stove, along with a drawing for a baby quilt," said Pili.

As the DJ blasted out music, he encouraged everyone to get up and dance, with the winners receiving free pizza from Pizza Hut, and wheat bread from Pritchard's Bakery.

Pizza Hut passed out slices of pizza, and Origin gas had a cooking demonstration with chef Sualua, showing everyone how to make a healthy stir fry chicken, to the delight of the crowd who received samples of the dish. Chef Sualua stressed to everyone to make sure to wash your hands before and after cooking, and to make sure to eat a lot of ‘Fiber' because fiber is what takes all of the garbage out of the body.

There was plenty of water to drink, as Vaimalu Pure Water was on hand to make sure no one was dehydrated, by having water tanks set up for everyone to keep cool.

Land Grant had a booth passing out free plants, while Sea Grant was making sure everyone knows about the nutritional value of fish.

There were puppet shows, and games for the kids for prizes, and excellent entertainment from the DJ on hand.

The Pediatrics Unit of LBJ hospital was also on hand, to pass information on baby care.

At the end of the day, everyone left with a little more education on nutrition and health.

The local organizations, community service providers, and vendors who were involved in this Nutrition Fair are listed below:
Sea Grant
ASCC (NCR) Land Grant
Pizza Hut
Origin Gas
GHC Reid
EFNEP (Nutrition)
Feleti Barstow Library
Pediatrics Unit of the LBJ Hospital
Pritchards Bakery
Sodexo American Samoa

April 21, 2011

Healthy Eating - Cucumbers

As part of W-CAP's ongoing efforts to inspire and educate, we will be featuring a vegetable each month with ideas and recipes to go along with it. 


1.       Use instead of rice to accompany the main dish/meat.
2.       Slice and soak in salt water and chill for a few hours.
3.       Serve with pilikaki in soups are salads.
4.       Top sandwiches with cucumber.
5.       Top slices of cucumber with pilikaki or tuna.
1 small head cabbage, green or red, finely sliced
2 med. cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 med. carrots, grated or chopped small
Mix all ingredients together, add Italian dressing or mayonnaise with a small amount of milk and salt and pepper to taste.
4 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon dried dill, or to taste (optional)

Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and pour over the cucumber and onions. Stir in dill, cover, and refrigerate until cold. This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Nutritional Information: Amount Per Serving Calories: 99 | Total Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 0mg

JAPANESE CUCUMBER SALAD—great for diabetes, weight loss and high in vitamins and minerals as well as low in fat so your entire family can enjoy!
2 medium cucumbers
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional, see Tip)

Peel cucumbers to leave alternating green stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Using a food processor or sharp knife, cut into very thin slices. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture.
Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine. Serve immediately.
Tip: To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

April 19, 2011

Staff Highlight - Melinda

Melinda is the Assistant Director of W-CAP and does all the technical recordings of the the puppet shows.  Melinda, along with her husband and talented children, provide the voices for the English recordings of the original puppet shows. Melinda is a woman of many talents. She is a gifted musician (piano, ukulele, etc.) helping with the musical creations and recordings for the puppet shows. Melinda is a creative seamstress who has taught the W-CAP staff sewing and as a wonderful creative writer and teacher she has provided great input to our educational curriculum. 

Melinda has lived in American Samoa for nearly 4 years and loves the island life. She teaches school full time and is due with her fourth child any time.  Her husband Ephraim is employed by University of Hawaii and he runs the Sea Grant extension program which has actively been involved with W-CAP as well.

April 14, 2011

Where There Are No Jobs Training

Last year, as part of the Where There Are No Jobs Training, our intern Saolo Betham from BYU taught the course on how to create your own jobs when there are no jobs available.  The course focuses on skills training in business math, basic cooking, handsewing, and basic crafts.  100% attendance and on time arrival were require of each woman and those who participated received a certificate of completion at the end of the week.


Please join us for our next training!

Where There Are No Jobs - Advanced Course
starting May 2nd 
Monday- Friday from 9 A.M. - 2 P.M.

April 6, 2011

WIC Nutrition Fair

W-CAP has a working relationship with WIC to provide nutrition education, and the fairs like the one we hosted at the end of March are one avenue for disseminating information and provide ongoing education to fulfill our mission.

Life in Samoa always presents some unique and unexpected challenges.  The day of our WIC nutrition fair was no exception.  Despite the electricity being shut off and a ship that did not make it with supplies - we were still able to pull off a succesful fair and had lots of people in attendance. 

Clara the Clown with her balloon shaped fish were a huge hit!

Iron Man came and danced with the kids to show off his strength from eating Vitamin C, so he could absorb iron, and build muscles.

The kids loved the games - fishing for good nutrition, food bingo, potato sack nutrition relay, vegetable bean bag, an Easter egg hunt for fruits and vegetables, spin the wheel, nutrition treasure hunt and more.

The children of the island were introduced to peanut butter, banana and raisin sandwiches on rye bread. That was a great hit! The bread was donated by a local bakery, Pritchards, which began making whole grain bread nearly two years ago for the island.

The Extension Nutrition ladies from the Land Grant made nutritious berry smoothies for a delicious breakfast idea. Land Grant agriculture had seedlings of lettuce, papaya, eggplant, cucumber and tomatoes all available to help people in their gardens. The door prizes were great and included a baby quilt, baby bottle supplies, electronic scales gardening kit, 'C is for Cooking' children's cookbooks, girls Hawaiian jewelry, a leather bound Bible, religious paintings, t-shirts, mugs, key rings and gas burners.

Our sponsors included the following companies. Thank you!

Niuborn baby store
SMLS - Swap Meet Liquidation Store at Coconut Point
CBT True Value Hardware
Origin Gas
Pritchard's Bakery
Land Grant - EFNEP Nutrition
Land Grant--agriculture 
Sea Grant & The University of Hawaii
WIC - Women Infant Children

A special thanks to each person that made this event a success and to those that have not been recognized here, but provided anonymous donations, or volunteered their time to help.