Wan Smolbag uses creative media to promote individual, community, and societal reflection, engagement, and dialogue. We engage youth and communities to promote responsibility, wellbeing and resilience. Our health programs improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, and we promote environmental sustainability and community resource management. We have projects to promote good governance, leadership and accountability across all of society. Our communications, research and policy work aims to create an evidence base for policy and programs, and promote individual and societal engagement and dialogue.
We work with schools, rural and urban communities, government departments and NGOs to promote the use of our student-centred, interactive materials. We provide training in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands on how to use our materials in the classroom or as part of a workshop, to promote discussion, tolerance and understanding.
Our environment programmes focus on encouraging and supporting community responsibility in the sustainable use of their resources. Over the years, we have made plays about many environmental issues; logging, reef management, custom medicine, sustainable tourism, sea cucumber farming, and turtles. The play, ‘I am a Turtle’, led to the formation of the Vanua-Tai turtle monitoring network, which started in 1995 on the island of Efate. This network has grown from around 40 volunteers on Efate to over 400 people, based in coastal villages throughout Vanuatu. The network now calls itself the Vanua-Tai, extending their interest in conservation to the land as well as the sea.
We aim to initiate discussion, support community action, and advocate on governance issues, some of which are sensitive and controversial. What is the relation between tradition and more recent, western forms of governance? Or is there a universal right and wrong that can supersede cultural concerns? We tackle these issues in many of our plays, films and radio programmes.
Our health programme primarily covers issues such as reproductive health, nutrition and healthy living. We run reproductive health clinics in Port Vila, Luganville Santo and Loltong in Pentecost offering free, confidential counselling, STI and HIV testing, and family planning, as well as emergency contraception.
Our nutrition and sports centre, looks to give youth a chance to learn about the increasing number of non-communicable diseases and how to avoid them later in life. The nutrition centre provides classes for youth in the mornings where they cook and eat; a cheap and healthy lunch for staff and visitors; and workshops for teachers, people interested in changing the way they cook to help better their health and lifestyle.