Kick-off for new radio drama "Tasi le Ola"

Publication Date: 
May 22, 2009

The American Samoa Community Cancer Coalition (ASCCC) is hosting an outdoor kick-off event — “Tasi le Ola” — for women this Saturday, May 23, at Utulei, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

ASCCC, a non-profit, non-governmental, community-based organization, was funded by the Pacific Center of Excellence for Eliminating Disparities (PCEED) Legacy grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop an innovative 5-episode radio drama focusing on breast cancer prevention and education for women over the age of 40 years old.

The radio drama “Tasi le Ola” (One life) encourages women to make their health their priority by following fictional characters who overcome realistic health challenges.

Unlike traditional talk shows or public service announcements, the “Tasi le Ola” edutainment project is the first of its kind in American Samoa, blending radio education and entertainment.

Everyone is encouraged to listen to the program with the main target audience being women age 40 and older as they are more at risk for developing breast cancer.

The purpose of the kick-off event at Utulei is to promote listening to the radio drama which will air Monday, May 25, 2009 through Saturday, June 13, 2009.

Samoan and English versions of “Tasi le Ola” will be aired twice a day on FM V103.1, while Samoan versions of the program can be heard once a day on FM 92.1 KSBS and FM 104 KNWK (Showers of Blessings).

Each day listeners can hear more about a woman named Tasi, her family and friends, and how they face their fears of cancer and find ways to change unhealthy beliefs and behaviors.

Over three weeks Episode 1 will be played on Mondays; Episode 2 on Tuesdays; Episode 3 on Wednesdays; Episode 4 on Thursdays and Episode 5 on Fridays. Listeners are encouraged to tune in each day and the entire series, Episodes 1-5, will be played on Saturdays.

At this Saturday’s event, the final contestants from a theme song competition will perform and the winners will be announced.

Nine different songs were submitted, all with lyrics that captured the theme — we only have one life so we should live healthy.

The kick-off event also features a DJ, live radio coverage, a raffle, contests, and activities. The first 100 women age 40+ will receive “Tasi le Ola” promotional packs.

The ASCCC, Cancer Network, and Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, among other agencies, will also have health information tables at the event.

The “Tasi le Ola” project has been community driven from the beginning research phase through to the development of the radio scripts and finally to the recording of the episodes using all local actors.

Over 220 people were surveyed and 13 interviews were conducted to gather information that inspired the real-life situations found in the “Tasi le Ola” story.

A Community Stakeholder Workshop was held in April to share the research results and to develop the main health messages expressed in “Tasi le Ola”.

A team of 3 Samoan writers incorporated research findings and community input to write the scripts for the 5 episodes. Scripts were pre-tested with women age 40+ before they were taped. A local cast of 14 actors played the parts in both Samoan and English versions of the program.

For more information call 633-4589 or email amsamccn@gmail.com