The Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji through the Wake Up! Project are launching a graphic design contest for youth from the Pacific to raise awareness on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors.
Young people between 18 to 30 years old from the Pacific are eligible to enter the competition, which is co-funded by the Pacific Fund, SPC and UNDP. Winners will receive training in street art (graffiti or mural painting) and work with professional graffiti artists to produce their own mural paintings.
As the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the region, NCDs, principally diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as cancers, constitute a crisis of epidemic proportion with major implications for the future development of Pacific countries and territories.
Tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, poor diets (e.g. diets rich in sugar, salt, fats and processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables) combined with lack of physical exercise, are the leading risk factors for NCDs.
Typically observed in adults, NCDs are now being increasingly diagnosed in young people, so prevention must start at an earlier age.
“The Wake up! Project engages youth and empowers them to communicate, using their own language and creative thinking to craft messages through arts and media that contribute to addressing NCDs,” said SPC NCD Officer, Solène Bertrand-Protat.
In 2017, the project worked with youth groups to create original videos and this year it is exploring the creation of graphics.