April 2015: This fantastic Rotorua initiative is run by Korowai Aroha Health and funded by the Ministry of Health.
It was identified early that the majority of the men joining the programme were at risk of heart disease and diabetes.
So, to provide the men with tools to improve their health, the Heart Foundation was asked to provide education around nutrition and healthy eating.
Jasmin Jackson, our local Health Promotion Coordinator, agreed to take on the task and now runs two sessions during each 10-week programme, with the support of Yvonne Skellern, our Heart Health Advocate.
All the men attend a nutrition workshop and a cooking class.
“The cooking class covers two easy low-cost dishes that the men can then take home and make for their whānau,” Yvonne explains.
The most recent group of nine men learnt to cook the Cheap Eats Crustless Quiche and Full o’ Beans Pizza (see photo).
“All the guys loved the food. Most had never used beans before and they are real converts!” Yvonne says.
“The feedback from both the men and the Tane Takitu Ake staff has been glowing so far and we hope to continue making best use of these wonderful resources, by sharing them with our local communities.”
Tane Takitu Ake - which means ‘to stand up together as men’ - has several intakes every year and around 50 men have graduated so far.
The latest group had their graduation at Taharangi Marae Ohinemutu two weeks ago, as shown in the photo above.
On the day they showed a great sense of achievement, with their whanau attending and the men performing their own uniquely developed haka as part of the graduation,” Yvonne says.