Private Scholarships Offer Micronesians Access to Opportunity

School Choice Freely Associated States Micronesia Marshall Palau

(Colonia, Yap) A dozen Micronesian students are headed to prestigious private schools this fall, thanks to Habele K-12 tuition scholarships. These students will attend the independent school of their family’s choosing.

Described as “an investment in human capital,” these grants are funded by donations from former Peace Corps Volunteers, tourists, and other Americans with a personal connection to Micronesia.


Advanced Science, Robotics, Showcased by Island Students

Students recount science studies at the high school STEM exhibition on Yap, Micronesia 

Elaborate cultural dances and seafaring canoes have made the Islands of Yap famous, but this month it was the ultra-advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills of local students on display.

An annual competition and exhibition organized by Yap Catholic High School drew nearly 200 community members who came to watch and support 70 high school student participants.


Micronesian canoe reassembly highlights interwoven FSM-US ties

Reprinted with permission from the Kaselehlie Press

Micronesian citizens living in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, gathered in South Carolina in mid-May to reassemble a traditional paddling canoe. The boat was crafted in Yap and serves as a symbol of the interwoven history of the American and Micronesian Peoples.


Micronesia's Robotic Olympians Training, Fundraising

Reprinted with permission from Kaselehlie Press, Volume 17, Issue 10

Micronesia's famously traditional Island of Stone Money is sending top students to a high tech global robotics competition this summer. The team, their teachers, and a network of supporters, are working hard to ensure they arrive on time, properly equipped, and prepared to compete.

Support the team at GoFundMe.com/YapRobo

The FIRST Global Challenge is a worldwide robotics competition scheduled for mid-July in Washington DC.  Small student teams design, build, and compete complex robots from simple parts. Featuring over 150 teams from across the planet, it also serves as a forum for students to meet and partner with diverse international peers.


Condition Assessment of Micronesian Canoe

To: Habele Outer Island Education Fund
From: Geoffrey Chambers
Date of Assessment: Friday, April 7, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Location of Assessment: Edisto Island, South Carolina

Abstract and Summary of Conclusions:

This is a condition assessment of a donated 11.5 foot long outrigger canoe built by Larry Raigetal and the Waa'gey Organization of Lamotrek Atoll. The canoe is a solid and well-made vessel of tropical hardwood construction. The canoe is currently in good condition and stored disassembled in a shipping crate. Minor repair of cosmetic outrigger grain separation should be considered prior to assembly. All parts are present for assembly and are structurally sound. The canoe and parts show no evidence of rot or significant deterioration and the paint is in good condition. Authentic coconut hair line was provided for lashing in the assembly of the canoe. Expert assistance is needed for assembly with the coconut hair line because there is insufficient coconut hair line to make mistakes in assembly and / or lashing.

Background and Objectives:
Habele is a non-profit organization benefiting education and cultural preservation in the outer islands of Micronesia. Habele and Burnie Maybank organized the importation of a Micronesian paddling canoe to the United States. The canoe is currently in a shipping container on Edisto Island.


From Stone Money to STEM Olympians: Micronesian students head to International Robotics Competition

The famously traditional Island of Stone Money is sending top students to a high tech global robotics competition.

Students from 153 nations will gather in Washington DC this summer for the international high school robotics Olympics. Few will have traveled as far –geographically or culturally– as the Robo League team from Yap.

The FIRST Global Challenge is a worldwide robotics competition. Small student teams design, build, and compete complex robots from simple parts. The work demands hands-on mastery of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills. Featuring teams from across the planet, it also serves as a forum for students to meet and partner with diverse international peers.

Students in Yap –a remote Micronesian Island most famous for its Stone Money– established their own Robotics League in 2011, holding Micronesia’s first public exhibition in summer of 2012.

Organized by US-based NGO “Habele,” the Yap Robo League remains the only coordinated multi-year robotics program in the Central or Western Pacific. It has grown and thrived through a defining partnership with a robotics team at Chaminade College Preparatory School, in Los Angeles, California. In-kind gifts of time and talent, as well as private donations and local fundraisers entirely finance the league.


Historic Sail showcases Micronesian craftsmanship, navigation

UOG President Dr. Underwood stands with the traditional navigators from the Lamotrek, Yap State, Micronesia at a ceremony celebrating their voyage (link).

For centuries, the people of the central Caroline Islands have relied heavily on their voyaging canoes as their primary means of transport. They made voyages to islands near and afar to obtain necessities including food, tools, and other valuables. In some instances, following devastating natural calamities, their canoes are used to relocate to a different island as was the case for the “Carolinians” now residing in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI). 

Today, the art of canoe building and traditional celestial navigations, continues in these remote islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. Although at a smaller scale than what it used to be, the important knowledge of their ancestors is being passed on to younger generations. Waa’gey is a community-based organization that is working with their island communities to promote traditional skills and knowledge transfer.