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Reflective Academic Writing Portfolio

Describe the Experience

During a project, a task of health promotion was given to us where we were required to identify a vulnerable community and need to organise a 3-day health promotion event there. As Indigenous populations is facing inadequate access to medical care, dramatically higher levels of transmissible and non-communicable diseases, lack of access to basic facilities, sanitation, and other primary prevention measures such as drinking water, soap, sanitizer, etc (Ithnin et al., 2020). So, for the indigenous community, our team wanted to do a health awareness campaign about the COVID -19 pandemic which has possessed a significant threat to Indigenous populations for their health and wellbeing. The team first explored a particular region where the majority of people were Aboriginals. Later on we started the promotion event but encountered a high resistance from the community people and we were unable to identify the exact reason for the same. The first day was a big failure for our team.

Interpret the Experience

After interpreting the experience of first day, I found that the first challenge faced by the team was the lack of knowledge of the local languages and culture. Second, the traditional practices of indigenous peoples are a source of their resilience, and may also pose a danger to prevent the spread of the virus at this time. The main rule to obey against the pandemic is to isolate ourselves from society (Corburn et al., 2020). The team faces considerable difficulty in illustrating the value of distancing from society. Many indigenous communities frequently conduct traditional celebrations to celebrate special occasions such as harvesting, coming-of-age ceremonies, etc., and live in multi-generational housing that endangers indigenous peoples and the families, especially the elderly (Nalau et al., 2018). So, on second day, I immediately thought of showing the videos from all over the world about people following social distancing to encourage them and let them understand the importance of the same.

Evaluate the Experience

Since we were not aware of the culture and languages of the aboriginal people, the team faced difficulty in communicating the thoughts about the pandemic to the people.The experienced taught me about the health care discrepancies and communication barrier the community face, even for the basic needs. I then convinced my team to distribute the basic sanitation materials to these people in all the meetings in next two days. I asked the team and encouraged the team members for interacting and understanding the community’s problems, their culture can help to communicate with the people (Ting-Toomey&Dorjee, 2018). The community shows confidence in communication on next day when the cultural values were respected. The whole team was exceptionally empathetic to the people as the members were aware that these are underprivileged group who needs love, care, support, and affection.


We faced the cultural and language barrier in communicating with the people of aboriginal communities. To overcome the language barrier, in next promotional events, we will use an aboriginal leader or any person from the community to communicate with people on our behalf from very first day. I also gave an idea to the team that in the next health promotional gatherings we can use poster which could be put in the community having all the information about the pandemic in their languages (Waterworth et al., 2016). The team had also decided to take uses of online sources, videos, and projectors in making the next group aware of the disease. I also made sure that in the next gathering the social distancing is followed and also planned to distribute masks and other daily utilities to the people of the community.

References for Health Promotion Event in An Aboriginal Community

Corburn, J., Vlahov, D., Mberu, B., Riley, L., Caiaffa, W. T., Rashid, S. F., ... & Jayasinghe, S. (2020). Slum health: Arresting COVID-19 and improving well-being in urban informal settlements. Journal of Urban Health, 1-10.

Ithnin, M., Nor, N. A. U. M., Juliana, N., Effendy, N. M., Sahar, M. A., Abdullah, K. H. A., ... & Rani, M. D. M. (2020). Knowledge, attitude and practices towards lifestyle related non-communicable diseases (ncds): A cross sectional study among indigenous orang asli adults in negeri sembilan, malaysia. IIUM Medical Journal Malaysia19(2).

Nalau, J., Becken, S., Schliephack, J., Parsons, M., Brown, C., & Mackey, B. (2018). The role of indigenous and traditional knowledge in ecosystem-based adaptation: A review of the literature and case studies from the Pacific Islands. Weather, Climate, and Society10(4), 851-865.

Ting-Toomey, S., &Dorjee, T. (2018). Communicating across cultures. Guilford Publications.

Waterworth, P., Dimmock, J., Pescud, M., Braham, R., & Rosenberg, M. (2016). Factors affecting indigenous west Australians’ health behavior: Indigenous perspectives. Qualitative Health Research26(1), 55-68.

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