More kind words from Pohnpei!

Wonderful email from Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Winston, working with educators and families in Pohnpei:

Dear Habele team!
Thank you so much for sending those amazing books to the library, words cannot adequately express how thankful my students and community are for your generous contribution.  
Please see the attached photo of some students and community members, and expect something in the mail (snail mail) soon! 
Thanks again, Sarah

Habele is proud to be a small part of the success achieved by the educators and engaged families at the Temwen School, located in the Madolenihmw municipality of Pohnpei.


YCHS Hosts 5th Annual Habele Robo-Day

COLONIA, Yap — On Tuesday, May 24th, Yap Catholic High School (YCHS) hosted the annual “Yap Robo-Day” thanks to donations from the Habele Foundation.

“Yap Robo-Day” was held at the Community Center from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Despite the torrential downpour, the twenty-five students in the club still carried on with their robotics demonstrations for more than 100 visitors to the event. The students made repairs and improvements to their robots and even taught some visitors how to drive and operate the different robots.

The Robotics Club had started working on their robots in January of this year under the guidance of their faculty moderators, Mr. Michael Wiencek and Ms. Devi Gopal. This year, two senior students, Armhel Pigao and Kobe Sacres, served in the leadership roles of project contractors for the club.


Kind words from Satowan in the Mortlocks

Kind words from Satowan in the Mortlocks of Chuuk State, Micronesia.
Thank you so much for the box of goodies! It was such a lovely surprise to receive them a few weeks ago. My students were so excited for the books that I had a hard time getting them to focus on the lesson. All they wanted to do was read the new books. We appreciate everything that you sent. 
Photo and message sent from Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Feigelson.

She and the public school educators at Satowan Elementary contacted Habele in March of 2016, seeking age-appropriate texts for classroom and library use.

Habele is an all-volunteer nonprofit expanding educational access and accomplishment in the Caroline Islands (Micronesia). It supplies targeted, on-demand donations to educators and extracurricular programs, as well as needs-based scholarships to individual students.


Adze Blades for Moch, Chuuk Canoe Carvers

Waa'gey sending adze blades to their fellow carvers on Moch, in Chuuk, Micronesia.

Special thanks to Peace Corps Kaylin Dilbeck for cordinating!


Editorial: Interior Department bungling making COFA mess worse

Opinon column published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Communities on Hawaii and Guam are suffering. The flood of migrants from Freely Associated States (FAS) strains taxpayer-funded education, health, public safety and social services.

Every year, Hawaii taxpayers shoulder $100 million in costs for programs guaranteed under the terms of the Compacts of Free Association (COFA). On Guam, the cost is over $50 million. The amount sent from Washington to offset these expenses? Just 16 cents for every dollar spent.

Nearly half of FAS migrants in Hawaii draw public food assistance. On Guam, the number is 58 percent. In Hawaii, nearly a third also receive supplemental welfare payments. A third of FAS migrants on Guam reside in public housing, and the number in Hawaii is presumed even higher. About 5 percent of migrants on Guam and 12 percent in Hawaii, are homeless. Only small numbers maintain health insurance and participate in preventative care. The result is costly emergency room visits.

This could have been avoided. Since 1951, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has spent hundreds of millions in American tax dollars to advance social, political and economic development in Micronesia and the Marshalls.

The failure is startling. Leaving stagnant, semi-cash, local economies for better lives on Guam or Hawaii is no longer just a rational choice for many FAS migrants; it is virtually axiomatic.

In recent years, Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has reacted to its own blunders by further micromanaging the hundreds of millions in aid that it is obligated to provide.


Historic Micronesian Canoes Make Landfall on Guam

(Hagåtña Harbor, Guam) This week, three hand-carved sailing canoes landed on Guam, completing a five-day voyage across the open ocean from Yap State. This arduous five day trek highlights the ongoing success of Waa’gey, a Yap-based mentorship program that trains island youth in traditional canoe carving and navigation. The voyage between Yap State and Guam served to bridge both time and cultures.

“Waa’gey students are trained to see the value in the traditions of our ancestors,” said Larry Raigetal of Lamotrek Atoll, the group’s Program Director. “They learned to build a large sailing canoe with their own two hands, and put traditional navigation into practice on a real voyage. The old ways still work.”

The canoes used were “Carolina Proas,” complex all wood outriggers designed, perfected, and made famous by Micronesians over centuries. Larry oversaw the project, captaining one of the sleek vessels that early Spanish missionaries called, “flying proas.” Designing, building and navigating traditional canoes requires tremendous expertise.


Small Cost, Big Impact: DONATE NOW!

For a decade, we've served ambitious students from the most remote Micronesian Islands.

This past year presented new challenges to Habele. Super Typhoon Maysak uprooted many of the communities and schools we support. A new category of educationally-displaced students emerged.

Outer Island schools remain in disarray. Most families lack the resources for alternatives. Habele continues to receive scholarship applications from these displaced students, as well as families across Micronesia seeking the best classroom for their child. As in years past, demand greatly exceeds our limited resources.

For under $600, Habele can place ambitious students in top schools in the state capitals for an entire school year. Our goal is to award twenty, K12 student scholarships in 2016. With your help we can make it happen.

In addition to funding scholarships, money raised now sustains the only high school robotics league in the Central Pacific, a vibrant traditional skills mentorship program, and direct-to-schools library donations.

This yearly plea is the only time Habele raises money. As an all-volunteer nonprofit, we channel contributions to our locally-defined programs, not aggressive fundraising efforts. By contributing, and urging friends and family to get involved, you empower ambitious Micronesian students to define and pursue their own futures.

Please make a donation to Habele today. We are an IRS-recognized nonprofit, so you may be eligible for a tax deduction.

Thank you for your continued support!

or send check or money order to  Habele, 701 Gervais St, STE 150-244, Columbia, SC 29201.