A Tuvaluan leader in Aotearoa New Zealand urged his community to take their eligible family members to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The call came as Tuvaluans celebrated dVaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu – Tuvalu Language Week which was celebrated last week.
This year’s celebrations in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland had been moved online because of the lockdown restrictions in the city.
The Tuvalu Auckland Community president Uelese Malaga said the theme is ‘Fakaakoigina tou iloga kae tukeli ke magoi mote ataeao’ which in English means embracing our culture and a more secure, vibrant future.
Malaga said ‘Fakaakoigina tou iloga kae tukeli ke magoi mote ataeao’ also highlights the important role language and culture has when securing a vibrant future for Tuvaluans across Aotearoa.
He said it encouraged the language and culture to be embraced to build strong foundations of perseverance, success and health equity.
The weeklong program encouraged Tuvaluans to take a holistic view of their well-being and positive outcomes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malaga said the theme also reminded them of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things amid the global health crisis. “When my father would teach me how to carve, he would always say: ‘action speaks louder than words’. These words give me strength and are words that are still true today,” Malaga said.
He said last year, Covid-19 hit the small Tuvalu community hard. “Our families struggled. Even I found it hard at times. But there’s one thing I know for sure, after 79 years of my journey in this life, together with faith action and unity all things are possible. So let us come together and protect ourselves from Covid-19. Take action – do it for each other. Get your vaccine,” Malaga said.