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Making a difference to Pacific families during COVID-19 with virtual delivery of parenting programme

The Positive Parenting Active Lifestyle (PPAL) Programme is a FREE parenting programme delivered by Alliance Health Plus and funded by the Auckland District Health Board. It is for families or caregivers with children under 5 years old, with a BMI in the 91st centile or above. The programme provides education, support and resources to help families raise happy and healthy children by strengthening family relationships and making positive choices easy around nutrition, active lifestyle and behavioural developmental issues.

The programme which is delivered by Samoan, Tongan and English speaking facilitators, consists of nine sessions which prior to COVID-19, were delivered face-to-face in groups and through one-on-one, in-home sessions.

With COVID-19 restricting physical social contact, Alliance Health Plus swiftly turned to online Zoom sessions to continue the delivery of the programme. Through this change, the team has seen a positive shift through efficiencies and improved attendance, given the removal of barriers such as transport and childcare, with whole families now able to attend the virtual sessions.

While Alliance Health Plus is contracted to deliver on the improvement of physical measures, the continuation of the programme during COVID-19 has provided so much more to participants, who themselves, attest to having felt supported mentally, socially and spiritually by their PPAL leaders and peers through this difficult and uncertain time.

“I am so grateful I attended this workshop. My mother listened and could not stop talking about how informative our last session was. Thank you for this opportunity and blessing our households with the learnings and strategies we can now put into practice within our bubbles” – Kuli Le’o O Palasi, PPAL participant

Twenty sessions have been delivered virtually across four programme groups comprising churches and community groups, since COVID-19 restrictions began. Private facebook groups were set up to provide an online community where PPAL peers can continue to support each other long after the official sessions have been completed.

Given this success, Alliance Health Plus intends to continue delivering virtual PPAL sessions (as well as in-person) beyond the removal of COVID-19 restrictions.



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