35 Years: Health Education Then and Now

If you follow along with Canvasback's work, you know we run a lifestyle Wellness Center on Majuro, the capital atoll of the Marshall Islands. There, we serve healthy foods, run an organic garden, and open our doors so anyone can exercise for free. Our education programs teach lifestyle health, gardening, and healthy cooking all over Majuro.

You may not know, however, that we began this health education decades before we started the Wellness Center. Here are some old photos, pulled from the archive, of our early days of teaching general lifestyle health.

Photos of this work show the same vein of work we continue to do now. Posters teach the effects of sugar or the workings of the body. Healthy food preparation and bananas (have you tried our Wellness Center's famous chocolate-covered bananas recipe?) are something we're known for. We emphasize childhood education in order to prepare the next generation to live healthy lives. From the beginning, we knew that general medicine, alone, was not enough to create lasting change in the Micronesian islands. So, we also provided education which would lead to lasting change and continued health: oral hygiene, the effects of sugar and other substances on the body, and how our body works.

And, for a bit of juxtaposition, here is what our wellness work looks like, today.

Now, we have just a little bit more space. Instead of a 71-foot-long ship, we have a 6,000 sq. ft. Wellness Center, as well as multiple outdoor gardens. We continue to teach the effects of a diet full of too much sugar, and we have the privilege of starting gardens and running healthy cooking demonstrations in the various communities on Majuro. We impact thousands each year, and our Wellness Center is well-known and very respected. We're grateful for President Amata Kabua's invitation to begin this work, years ago.

We're proud to have started this work so long ago, and we're proud to work alongside the Ministry of Health and local community organizations. As we continue to build up our lifestyle heath work on Majuro, depending on the community's needs and wants, we are also looking to other communities who want this type of work. And know one thing more: this work—35 years of health education—wouldn't have happened without you being a part of the Canvasback family.