Below is a selection of media articles on Wan Smolbag. Click on a title to read the full article or in some cases download a PDF or access YouTube.
From outside Vanuatu
Articles from Vanuatu's Daily Post newspaper
Islands Business - December 2002
View/download PDF of the Islands Business article
on Wan Smolbag, December 2002 issue. Size approx 3.3mb.
Oxfam Australia - December 2008, A Brighter Future
View/download PDF of the full Oxfam Australia newsletter
December 2008 issue (Size approx 1.6mb) or the 2-page spread only
on Smolbag's peer educators (Size approx 300kb).
Vista (VSA) - May 2007
View/download PDF of VSA's article
on Wan Smolbag, published in May 2007. Size approx 3.3mb.
New Zealand Herald 2.12.10
TV Eye: Airing tropical issues (Love Patrol 2)
If a television soap mirrors the society it is made in, the men of Vanuatu should think about changes. As portrayed in Love Patrol, series two, which started on Maori Television last Tuesday, Vanuatu blokes are: drunk, lazy, uneducated, hypocritical and foul spreaders of HIV.
However, it's incredibly popular with the locals. Series one, Vanuatu's first locally produced TV programme, was watched by more than 90 per cent of the population of Port Vila when it first aired in 2007.
It has screened in nations across the Pacific, while four episodes of this series were shown at an HIV Aids conference in Bali last year.
That's because its primary goal is to try and educate Pacific Islanders on behaviour leading to HIV infection. A coherent script takes second priority to the "message" - and some sexist characters.
One of Love Patrol's leading men is young unemployed Carlo [sic, Kalo], who is married to Wendy. When Wendy gets the sulks over their lack of prospects, Carlo casually tells his friend, "You know what girls are like when they get something into their head." You get the feeling that's a saying that has been passed down for many generations.
A cop called Mark, separated for two years from his HIV-positive wife (he gave it to her, what a gift), is furious when she goes public about her condition in the paper. He won't take the tests or admit he is positive himself. Meanwhile, his workmates are so ill-informed they think they'll catch HIV just by sitting in the same patrol car.
The big drama in this new series also centred around an effete Australian "businessman" in cahoots with a corrupt politician. The Aussie is also bankrolling the importation of heroin so it can be couriered on to Australia and New Zealand.
When Carlo found one of the bags of smack washed up on the beach, he took it home, possibly signing his own death sentence. The drama culminated in scenes involving a blow to the head, hostage-taking and the spillage of what looked suspiciously like icing sugar.
The acting in Love Patrol is understandably variable and the scenes chop around unevenly, but it's an interesting insight into life in a Pacific "paradise". The scenes of a bored kid scratching at the dirt with a stick instead of going to school said it all.
Currents (NZAID) - Oct 2007
View/download PDF of NZAID's article
on Wan Smolbag, published in Oct 2007. Size approx 1mb.
Islands Business - Dec 2007
Health: LOVE PATROL
The Pacific's own HIV prevention TV series
In the amber colours of the afternoon, scenes flash ugly ones in front of Elizabeth. What if? she keeps pondering. Nasty memories of the past months haunt her to the depths of her being, and her stomach tightens as she thinks the worst. Her husband's extramarital affairs have left her on the darkest side of midnight. Not only is she pregnant, she is also possibly infected with HIV. Her mother thinks that she is a good Christian girl, she MUST go back to her husband.
Elizabeth is one of the main characters in 'Love Patrol', the Pacific's own 10-part TV series, which premiered in Vanuatu and Fiji in April and is already proving immensely popular with TV viewers in both countries. 'Love Patrol' is the product of an innovative approach to HIV prevention that has recently arrived on our shores.
The idea is to have a popular TV series made by and for Pacific people that will draw viewers into the story and keep them entertained while providing important information on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The stories raise topics that stimulate dialogue in the community and encourage individuals to examine and change their behaviours.
During a random street poll in the streets of Port Vila, Vanuatu, a number of people empathised with Elizabeth, including one interviewee who said Elizabeth played a part which showed the life of many women in Vanuatu today: 'It is good for men to see 'Love Patrol' so that they can see the pain that women go through when their husbands cheat on them all the time.'
Unlike one-off productions, the series allows viewers to identify more closely with characters and themes across time and opens the way for the material on HIV and other development issues to become part of the conversational fabric of a community.
Tapping into these advantages, 'Love Patrol' portrays strong characters with whom the audience can identify. Many of the respondents to the poll stated that 'Love Patrol' mirrored 'real life and real people' and showed 'what is actually happening in Vanuatu today'.
A police officer said that he felt that the depiction of the police in 'Love Patrol' was indicative of the police in Vanuatu and 'police officers should watch it so they can learn from it'. Another respondent said the series raised issues that were hard for people to talk about, but 'when it comes out on TV, we don't blame anyone for raising those issues and it becomes an avenue to begin talking about important issues'.
This approach to HIV prevention is called 'edutainment' and has been developed over the last few years in a growing number of countries around the world. Its positive impacts have been documented in detail; the most well-known example is the 'Soul City' TV series in South Africa.
As a result, the Pacific Regional HIV/AIDS Project (PRHP), the HIV & STI Section of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the well-known Vanuatu theatre company Wan Smolbag thought the time was ripe for the Pacific to have its own TV soap opera, with characters, storylines and scenes that are relevant to the region.
In addition to being screened on TV, all episodes will be distributed widely on DVD across the region along with back-up print materials relating to the episodes. Initially they will be an important source of information, education and communication (IEC) materials for the region's schools, with plans for support materials for the non-school environment (non-governmental organisations, clinics and village communities) further down the track.
The impact of the series will be closely monitored and documented to inform any future HIV-related video projects in the region, including a second series planned for 2008. Indeed, there were many calls for a continuation of the series during the street poll, with some respondents comparing it with Wan Smolbag's radio soap opera 'Famili Blong Serah', which has now been running for seven years.
To-date, 'Love Patrol' has been shown in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu, as well as in Samoa during the South Pacific Games. In all these places, it has been met with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Vanuatu's random street poll showed that over 85 percent of people were watching every episode (even the repeats). 'Love Patrol' started on Fiji One TV on October 15. You can follow the lives and loves of Elizabeth, Mark and the cops of the Love Patrol at 8pm on Fridays. Viewers in the Cook Islands will be able to see Love Patrol from January 2008. Stay tuned to the Patrol - it's coming your way!
Vanuatu Daily Post (Weekender), 31/1/09
Wan Smolbag starts 20th year
2009 marks the 20th anniversary of Wan Smolbag. The first ever performance was in National health week in 1989. It featured Charleon Falau, still in the group, Mr JB Tsiobang, who today is director of Bistaveos studios, a company he founded, and Peter Walker. The three of whom, along with Jo Dorras, started Wan Smolbag when Jo took up a teaching post at Malapoa College. Another early group member was the very talented Pierre Licht (see photo), who was tragically killed in a car accident in December 1991. 20 years later the group employs 106 people and runs services in health, sport, youth and the environment apart from making plays and films. It has core partnerships with AusAID and NZAID. Other long-term partners include Oxfam Australia and Oxfam New Zealand. The group will be marking the 20th anniversary in many ways. 'It's a bit terrifying' said actor Morinda Tari, ' we had a planning meeting in December and we all came out a bit shocked when we realised how many lines there would be to learn in 2009!'.
First up will be tours to the rural areas with a play explaining the Family Protection Act. This play started touring in late 2008 and was well received in villages in Santo and Banks. In February they will tour villages with a film version of their play Las Kad, which is finally completed. While this is happening some actors will be working across Melanesia with teachers on how to use WSB's films in the classroom. Others will be composing tunes for a new full-length play. Actual rehearsals of the play start in March and it will open at the theatre in May. It looks at the state of religion in Vanuatu today and should provoke plenty of discussion.
WSB will shortly confirm the date of a big open day at Wan Smolbag Haos. Although most people know something about Wan Smolbag, the group is aware that many are unaware of the full scope of its work, especially through its clinics in Vila and Santo, its youth centre, the environmental work done by Health Force Theatre, the Vanua-Tai monitors and the Haulua Youth Centre on Pentecost. 'I've only been in the group 4 years' says Virana Tamata, 'and even over that time it's changed so much. I really hope people will come to the open day, enjoy themselves and eat great food from the nutrition centre!'
In May they hope to launch series two of their TV drama Love Patrol. Series one has just begun a second showing on Maori TV in New Zealand as well as playing on ABC International across the Asia Pacific region. A third series will begin filming in August funded by the Asian Development Bank.
These events are part of a normal busy year but there are several special events to mark the 20th year. The main highlight will be an international theatre festival in the first two weeks of June. ANZ and QBE have already agreed to contribute funds for this event and WSB hopes other private sector backers and partners of WSB will want to contribute to this exciting festival. There are 3 groups from Adelaide in Australia and 2 from Noumea booked to perform. We are in negotiation with groups from New Zealand, England, Timor Leste who are all keen to come. This will be the first festival of its kind in Vanuatu and will bring many different kinds of theatre to Vanuatu, stilt walkers and a Torres Strait island cabaret show being but two. Wan Smolbag will also revive some of its old plays in performances all around Efate. During this time at the French Embassy, Wan Smolbag will run a photo exhibition looking at its history and films it has made. This could be embarrassing for some older group members who looked a little different in the films they made in the mid 90s! If funding is available WSB hopes the exhibition and film show can tour to all five provinces.
Another international show comes to Vanuatu in August as part of a collaboration between Wan Smolbag and Vanuatu's Society for People with Disabilities. The show, entitled Trapped, has been well reviewed in festivals in Australia. The show's director and lead actor, Alirio Zvarce, will stay on after a week of performances to work with WSB actor Francis Ruru and members of the Society for People with Disabilities to produce a new play for the society's advocacy in Vanuatu. Alirio is Venezuelan by birth and was in the Venezuelan youth orchestra from the age of eleven. He emigrated to Australia and took up acting and directing. He lectures at Flinders University, as well as working with groups that specialize in drama with people with disabilities.
Charleon Falau says he hopes the year will give people a clearer view of what WSB has contributed and continues to contribute to Vanuatu and the region over the past 20 years. Peter Walker agrees 'None of us knew how it would develop and in some ways in this uncertain world we still don't! but whatever happens, there's a body of work left behind as well as facilities that hopefully will be of use to the country for the foreseeable future.' Evidence of this can be found in the way that several of the unemployed youth who attend WSB's youth centres have found work or new talents that have taken them to sports competitions and art exhibitions overseas, as well as appearances in Wan Smolbag's films.
Watch this space for further details of the festival and other upcoming plays and films from Wan Smolbag in 2009 and remember registration for the youth centre is now open - 100 vatu gets you access to all the clubs and facilities for the whole year.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 18/10/08
Upcoming activities from Wan Smolbag's Environment Programme
2008/2009 Turtle Nesting Beach Surveys
Wan Smolbag's turtle conservation project began in 1995 when the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) declared The Year of the Sea Turtle in the Pacific. Wan Smolbag initiated the project in north Efate with the name turtle monitors network and a membership of 15 village-based turtle monitors. It is now more than 10 years since its inception and the network has so far grown to a nation-wide network with more than 200 members from Aneityum to the Torres Group.
Apart from other environmental activities, the turtle conservation activities carried out by the turtle monitors include general turtle monitoring activities, turtle tagging, awareness on turtle conservation, and surveying of turtle feeding and nesting sites.
Since 2002 turtle nesting beach surveys have become a major part of the monitors' activities. The turtle breeding season in Vanuatu begins around the month of September to March/April the following year. During this time sea turtles would migrate long distances from their feeding grounds to their nesting sites to nest. During this period the turtle monitors would conduct a series of nesting beach surveys on selected beaches on different islands.
In a nesting beach survey turtle monitors would collect data on turtle species, nesting turtles encountered, true nests and nesting attempts, hatchling success, nest predation and other threats, and turtle tagging. To do this it requires the monitors to be at the nesting sites to conduct beach patrols at night and during the day. This can be done occasionally over the whole turtle breeding season or for one or two months on a daily basis.
In this current breeding season, several sites have been identified for nesting beach surveys. The selected sites are Tasiriki on Moso, north Efate, Votlo in South Epi, Maranata in south Ambrym, Bamboo Bay in west coast Malekula and Wiawi in northwest Malekula. Apart from these sites information on turtle nesting will also be gathered on nesting sites in southeast Malekula and the off-shore islands of Malo, Aore, Tutuba and Mavea in southeast Santo.
The upcoming nesting beach surveys are funded under the AusAID/NZAID funding to Wan Smolbag's Environment Programme with additional funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the US Department of Commerce.
Eco-Volunteers in Moso
In early 2007 a group of tourists known as eco-volunteers were attached with the Tasiriki community in Moso, north Efate for the first time to conduct turtle nesting beach surveys on their turtle nesting site. The eco-volunteers were recruited by an international NGO called Global Vision International (GVI), which has its headquarters in the UK and a regional office in Australia. This is a joint initiative between Wan Smolbag's Vanua-Tai resource monitors programme and GVI to involve eco-volunteers in turtle monitoring at Moso to protect the nesting turtles along with their eggs and hatchlings on the nesting beach, and also for the Tasiriki community to benefit from the eco-volunteers' labour and financial support.
The turtle nesting site at the back of Moso Island is one of the major turtle nesting sites on Efate and Vanuatu as a whole. Each year during the turtle nesting season hawksbill turtles would flock the beach to nest before they retreat to their feeding grounds. During this time the nesting turtles with their eggs and hatchlings are exposed to threats such as predation by human beings and animals, egg poaching, collection of turtle hatchlings for sale, as well as threats from natural causes.
In 1995 when Wan Smolbag initiated the turtle monitors network in north Efate, two members of the Tasiriki community were chosen as turtle monitors for the village. Despite their presence in the village and their efforts to discourage turtle harvesting and egg poaching on the nesting beach, not much was changed, thus turtles were continued to be harvested, eggs collected and hatchlings collected and sold for cash.
Since the initiation of the eco-volunteers turtle monitoring project at Moso the man-made threats are now minimized thanks to the Tasiriki Chief and people who are in support of the project and have agreed to work with Wan Smolbag and GVI to protect turtles, turtle eggs and turtle hatchlings on their nesting site.
The arrangement with GVI allows for groups of eco-volunteers to come in one month at a time. After the first group in early 2007, five groups came in for the second round of the project which ran from end of 2007 to early 2008. A total of six groups of volunteers have now been booked for the third cycle, which starts in October 2008 and ends in March of 2009.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 09/07/07
Love Patrol (1) Ends
Wan Smolbag's Mini TV series, 'Love Patrol' came to an end yesterday Sunday, when the tenth episode aired on TBV. The show has been a huge success, way beyond the expectations of the group. The actors say they had never been recognised so often in the street and some of them are tired of being called by their 'Love Patrol' names! Bob Homu, who played the Minister in the series, said he has had women coming up to him complaining about the way he treated his wife. According to a survey Wan Smolbag has run with nearly a thousand people in Vila, the Minister was one of the most hated characters in 'Love Patrol'!
There were many stories too about people rushing home on Sundays to watch the series and also people flooding into other people's houses to watch. At Sorovanga school they allowed people in to watch the series on Sunday and Thursday, 'People run to get there,'said Moses Joel, one of the crew who filmed the series and lives in the area, 'they ran because those who got there last couldn't get in and ended up waiting outside.'
The aim of the series, which was funded by the Pacific Regional HIV/AIDS Project through AusAID, NZAID, SPC and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, was to hook people into watching an entertaining series and at the same time to inform them about the sickness and also to make people aware that AIDS is here today and many people, even those who are married, are in danger from the disease. The series will be showing on Fiji TV later this year and on most Pacific TV channels too. There is also interest from Maori TV in New Zealand.
Wan Smolbag is also hoping to make another series of Love Patrol next year: Director Peter Walker said, 'We are keen to make another set of ten episodes next year. I can't believe I'm saying this as it was a real challenge to all of us in Wan Smolbag to make the series. It took thirteen weeks of filming, getting up 5am and starting by 6.30 every morning. Sometimes we didn't finish till very late at night, but everyone now says we've never had a film that was so popular. So yes, we'd like to do another one, but it's a lot of money to find. We will keep trying to find the money if the public really want Love Patrol to continue. So if you do, contact Wan Smolbag, so we can show the funders you like it!'
So contact Wan Smolbag if you want a second series to be made next year! [postscript....and they did.... and we are]
Vanuatu Daily Post, 20/07/07
WSB team focuses on Tagabe river rehabilitation
A Wan Smolbag (WSB) Health Force team is tirelessly putting its efforts into helping the surrounding communities along the Tagabe River to keep the river bank clean from the bridge down to Blacksands area.
The Health Force team is currently involved in two separate projects of rubbish collecting and tree planting.
With support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the six-member team started the rubbish collecting project last year. Because the area is outside the Municipal boundary, rubbish collected from the surrounding areas was taken to WSB for transportation to the dumpsite.
The project is fully supported by NZAID.
The second project of tree planting is aimed at reducing and avoiding soil erosion along the riverbank. According to the team, one contributing factor to erosion in the area is the amount of the daily activities accruing in the area due to the large population that depend on the river.
The team is grateful to the Department of Forestry for providing free seedlings to enable them to carry out the project.
Brian Robert, a member of the team, confirmed that already more than 70 trees have been planted along the river.
We have just planted 24 young trees this week and we are glad to see them growing, he said. Mr Robert stressed that participation from the nearby communities and the general public is very important as far as maintaining a pollution- free river is concerned.
However, members from the team are pleased with the positive progress so far by communities who recognise what they are trying to achieve.
The team has appealed to all nearby residents to manage their rubbish well in order to help keep the Tagabe River clean and safe.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 19/08/06
Wan Smolbag Launch a Different Type of Schooling Video
Wan Smolbag Theatre are the quiet achievers in Vanuatu and a rich asset to the country. They have released 22 videos, 8 CDs and 4 books aimed at educating people throughout the Pacific on issues of governance, health and environmental issues in order to promote community discussion, awareness and debate.
On Thursday night they launched their latest video called 'No Questions' about the way children are being taught in schools and about the way boys treat girls in schools.
Wan Smolbag are holding public showings of the video on large screen for just 100vt on Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:30p.m. sharp as well as an additional show on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.
'No Questions' has excellent performances by the two stars of the movie Virana Tamata and Noel Aru, who play school teachers in rural areas.
Noel is like all of the other teachers at the school who are strict, allow no interaction between pupils and are driven by exam results. Virana is different and believes that pupils need more interaction and knowledge of issues that will help them in life.
This view is held up with statistics that show only 10% of our population are likely to get employment by 2015 based on current population growth. If 90% of students are not going to find work then it makes sense for Vanuatu schools to start changing the way they teach and this has already started. However there is still the mind set in schools that they are driven by exam results. This video sponsored by NZAID aims to drive this point home.
NZAID has been pleased with the track record of Wan Smolbag in advancing regional education initiatives. At the opening NZ High Commissioner Paul Willis advised, School systems generally tend to be authoritarian with teachers often using rote learning rather than allowing for self expression and critical thinking.
Over the next five years NZAID will provide funding to WSB for the use of student centred teaching and WSB materials in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
The aim of the regional project is to help increase the use of innovative teaching methods to stimulate self expression and debate of key development issues both in formal and non-formal education through WSB materials.
He went on to advise, with rapidly rising populations, few education opportunities available and the high rate of unemployment, social problems are growing, illustrated in the increasingly high rates of adolescent pregnancy and substance abuse.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 13/04/07
WSB launches Love Patrol in Luganville
The local theatre group in Vanuatu, Wan Smolbag, is launching its ten episode series 'Love Patrol' at the Sarakata Anglican Hall which will continue for the next two days.
Leader of the group to Luganville Bob Homu told daily post the series' contains drama plays on various social problems ni-Vanuatu are facing today. 'This is the first ever lengthy film Wan Smolbag has produced and it took us three months to complete.
'It has 10 parts and we will stage only few of them and let people to enjoy the rest of it through the Television blong Vanuatu (TBV) from this month,' Mr. Homu said.
The film involved different community members to make it such a success. People in Luganville are being given two chances to see the evening shows. The first two nights (Thursday and Friday) should display the beginning of the play and the evening of the selected part the should be put out for the people to watch (sic). Homu said Love Patrol is a new series produced by the theatre group after the last two 'Wan Tru Paradaes' and 'No Questions'.
However, he said they hope to perform to their best and Luganville residents are promised they won't be disappointed.
Entrance fee is VT 100 for adults and VT 50 for all children. The concert starts at 6:00pm.
He also advised public DVDs of the past Wan Smolbag films are also on sale at the Northern Care Youth Clinic at the FSP building.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 23/03/07
New plays at Wan Smolbag Theatre
Condoms in schools, repenting politicians and burning tyres are at the centre of new plays by Wan Smolbag currently being performed around the country.
Presen blong Mama is about a schoolgirl Sylvia and her mother. She doesn't want her daughter to have a boyfriend at school, but neither does she want her to get pregnant or get HIV/AIDS. She puts some condoms at the bottom of Sylvia's case when she goes back for the new term. Sylvia respects her mother and father's wishes not to sleep with her boyfriend but has a friend whom she knows is sleeping with a boy and gives her the condoms.
The friend Mary is caught and names Sylvia as her source of condoms. There is a dispute between the principal and his staff about how to deal with the situation. At the end, the audience is invited to discuss whether the principal should suspend Sylvia and whether they think the mother was right to give her daughter condoms. One new feature of this play is that it is performed to a background of music made from strings of coral, PVC piping, old plates and bamboo. The group is currently performing this piece in South West Bay Malekula together with a piece about a politician whose daughter-in-law nearly dies after a fight with his son.
He promises God that if the girl lives he will never again accept a bribe or offer a bribe. The girl lives and he starts off on a new path as an honest politician, but will his electorate understand this new politician who no longer offers them bags of rice and free kava at election time? After the tour to Malekula, the plays will tour schools in Vila before going to Tanna.
Meanwhile, Vila Primary Schools are currently enjoying a play about two tyres who are thrown away when they are bald and are about to be burnt unless the children can save their lives! This play is a kind of beginner's guide to global warming and pollution says Health Force Theatre coordinator Yaxlee Nangof. The play will also tour schools in Luganville and Ambrym.
In June the group will begin practising a new full length play to replace the big show Solid Sistas that ran successfully in Vila and Luganville for two seasons. The play is currently being written with a working title of 'Las Kad'. Before then, at the end of March, Wan Smolbag will release the 10-part TV series Love Patrol. Some of the episodes will be shown at Wan Smolbag and then in April the series will be on TV with one episode being shown each week.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 18/02/05
Wan Smolbag release three great films
Give Wan Smolbag Theatre a thunderous round of applause for releasing their latest heartwarming films this week with a well received preview at Cine Hickson yesterday night attended by approximately 150 people including CRP Minister Isabelle Donald, the Ombudsman and representatives of the Diplomatic Missions.
Eniwan I Luk Rose? (Has anyone seen Rose?) is a 50 minute drama about a young girl who runs away from her island to avoid an arranged marriage to a cruel man and gets caught up in a corrupt politician's bid for power.
Dressed as a boy to hide her true identity, Rose lives a hide and seek lifestyle challenged by hunger and confusion. Her plight is a realistic example of what has been taking place between the islands and Luganville and Port Vila. Do not miss the film to find out what happens to Rose. The film is recommended for use extensively as a tool for encouraging dialogue throughout the country on the many social issues faced by youth today. The making of the film is funded by New Zealand Assistance for International Development.
Vanua-Tai... of Land and Sea is a 35 minute documentary film on the work of the turtle monitors of Efate and Malekula. After the workshops in Maskylenes, the chiefs adopt certain guidelines regarding turtles for their annual new yam festival. This film is recommended for viewing in rural coastal villages. It is funded by the South Pacific Regional Environment Program, Canadian South Pacific Ocean Development, Worldwide Fund for Nature, European Community and David & Lucile Packard Foundation.
Mr Right Guy is a 35 minute drama in English which can be easily mistaken for a sequence from the famed Black American Musical Porgy and Bess. While it is about HIV/AIDs, the film proves Wan Smolbag's constant development towards international acclaim. Look beyond what you see and read the message about the importance to listen to mum and dad. Listen beyond what you hear and recognise the truth about the need to be honest with yourself. This video is highly recommended for viewing by students from all secondary schools. It is funded by Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria with supplementary funding from UNAIDS. It is being released in the Pacific region and beyond.
The films open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are on sale at the entrance at 200 vatu for adults and 100 vatu for children.
Vanuatu Daily Post, 30/01/07
Wan Smol Bag radio drama series gains popularity in PNG
Wan Smolbag Theatre's radio drama series 'Famili Blong Serah' is continuing to gain popularity in Papua New Guinea. Radio Australia's Tok Pisin Service Executive Producer, Mr Pearson Vetuna, reported last week to Wan Smolbag that the drawing power of Famili Blong Serah's educational information is making a mark in PNG. He said the topics addressed in Famili Blong Serah are very relevant to the region and the Wan Smolbag actors are really good at bringing the scripts to life.
The popularity of the programme is such that little kids go around uttering words in Bislama.
In congratulating Peter Walker the Wan Smolbag director and his team, Mr Vetuna reported that due to Famili Blong Serah's popularity some of the provincial radio station managers in PNG now write to Radio Australia's Tok Pisin Service to keep the programme coming.
Mr Pearson reiterated this call by asking Wan Smolbag to keep forwarding programmes to the Tok Pisin Service.
In their response Wan Smolbag thanked Mr Vetuna and the Tok Pisin Service for their support and confirmed they would work hard to continue Famili Blong Serah.
The radio drama series Famili Blong Serah is produced by Wan Smolbag Theatre and funded by Oxfam New Zealand. Wan Smolbag also receives core funding from AusAID and NZAID.