Marshall Islands Prevention Group, otherwise known as MIEPI, is celebrating 10 years as a non-governmental organization in the RMI. MIEPI was established to provide epidemiological surveillance, community research, and public health planning and prevention to monitor, assess and improve health and social welfare of communities in the RMI.
MIEPI set aside $1,000 annually since it was founded to build up a fund to support a large community event on the 10th anniversary.
In 2018, the fund reached $10,000. Looking at how to effectively use this small fund, MIEPI wanted to involve the community in the planning. Instead of hosting a large event, or banquet, MIEPI decided to support a series of mini-projects to reach more people and fund innovative public health projects.
The response to the MIEPI request for proposals was tremendous. MIEPI received more applications than it anticipated. Proposals came in from schools and clubs from Majuro and the outer islands.
Ten projects were funded at $1,000 each. This past week, checks were handed out to various groups in Majuro to support their projects, including:
• Majuro Deaf Education Center. Project: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness in the Deaf Community. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals face problems with availability, accessibility, and acceptability of mental health services. Deaf people are frequently marginalized and underserved due to isolation from normal information flow and Deaf individuals may experience greater levels of stress due to strained interactions with the hearing community. The Majuro Deaf Education Center plans to raise awareness of mental health symptoms by developing materials and hosting an event in sign language for Deaf youth.
• Majuro Cooperative School. Project: HealthSmart Curriculum. Majuro Cooperative Middle School has health programs scheduled 80 minutes a week on the school timetable. Currently, resources for instruction are gained from the internet and from staff. The plan is to develop a HealthSMART curriculum to provide an academic foundation to “health” and provide staff and students a framework to become more aware of their choices.
• Majuro Middle School. Project: School Garden. Majuro Middle School garden is currently a patch of land in front of the school with sparse vegetation. The school garden project aims to revitalize the area to help students learn the necessary skills for gardening and promoting nutritious food. The garden will be used as a practical way to educate students through hands on learning. Teachers will engage students to have different roles in maintaining the garden and use examples of the “farm-to-healthy plate” concept in the classroom.
Read more about this in the November 2, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.