Nursing students' working bee helps Fijian women

An industrious group of Otago Polytechnic year-3 Bachelor of Nursing tauira have swapped vaccination needles for sewing needles to help women from a Fijian village.

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Fuelled on chocolate and laughter, the group recently held a working bee and created a large number of sustainable hygiene products for the women of Nasovotava.

The Nasovotava community has approximately 250 people, and an estimated 80-100 women will benefit from the student’s work.

The project has a range of sustainable outcomes.

Having identified a need around women’s health in the Nasovotava community, the students sourced suitable materials for the products from the wider Otago Polytechnic student community.

As well as being supplied a number of completed items, residents will be provided with patterns and instructions for the products, which have a life expectancy of up to six years with proper care and cleaning.

The group’s working bee was inspired by consultation and collaboration with a member of the Dunedin community who comes from the village of Nasovotava and has lived in Dunedin for the past 20 years. 

He plans to return to Fiji at the end of the year to deliver the products. However, should those plans change, the materials will be mailed to the Nasovotava community.

The project, part of the School of Nursing’s primary healthcare placements, required third-year learners to work with community stakeholders, including completing a needs assessment.

They then developed a research question from their findings, conducted an evidence-based literature review and developed a suitable and acceptable health promotion resource to benefit the community. 

Published on 23 May 2022