Stylish Jerseys for Youth Basketball Team in Yap, Micronesia

Habele charity equips student athletes with basketball jerseys in Yap.

A group of young men from the Neighboring Islands who live on Yap Proper are training to compete in that Micronesian State's Island League Basketball competition.

Their team, called "Weyei," emerged from the boys' participation in "Waa'gey," an after school mentoring program. That group uses traditional cultural skills to teach high students discipline, teamwork and identity.

The boys are to be coached by Waa'gey Director Larry Raigetal of Lamotrek, and former Peace Corps Volunteer Garrett Johnson. The athletes began with a multi-week fundraising effort to earn funds for team jerseys.

US-based Habele, a charity established by former Peace Corps Volunteers, heard about the team and offered to help. "The boys worked hard to raise money and buy jerseys. Habele has designed, ordered and purchased Jerseys, asking the young men to use the money they obtained to support other local civic efforts on Yap," announced Habele volunteer and former Peace Corps Volunteer Scott Leis.


Private Scholarships for Top Micronesian Students

A dozen bright young island students are headed to top private schools across the central Pacific nation of Micronesia. Their tuition scholarships, awarded by the Habele charity, were announced during a small ceremony at the Micronesian Embassy in Washington DC earlier this week.

Among the winners was Griselda Muut of Yap. She will be a sophomore at Yap Catholic High School (YCHS) this fall. Giselda lives with her mother Mary Layan and younger sister Margo in the Village of Kaday, a part of Weloy Municipality. Their father is deceased. Mary is an engaged parent who describes her daughter’s school enthusiastically as “challenging” and “demanding.” Rev. Michael Corcoran, the Jesuit headmaster of YCHS, explains Griselda, “worked extremely hard and earned 1st honors for the last quarter of her freshman year.” Miss Mutt is also active in village and school based athletic programs, in addition to participating in her village’s traditional cultural dance ensemble.

The scholarships are privately funded and cover roughly three-fourths of tuition and fees at primary and secondary schools. More than 150 students from Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei States of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) applied, seeking to attend independent, mostly religiously affiliated, elementary and high schools in the State Capitals.


Scholarship Fundraising Drive

Habele needs your help in keeping our commitments to the ambitious students of Micronesia.
Since January, we’ve delivered dozens of boxes of books to students throughout Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei States. We’ve also provided specialized adze blades to master carvers in the Waa’gey canoe carving mentor program. And we’ve partnered with schools in Yap to orchestrate our third annual high school robotics competition and our first statewide sports competition.
Now we are looking toward August 1st, when Habele announces its 2014-2015 Student Scholarships – and we need your help!
These scholarships offer students from remote islands and low-income families equal access to the quality instruction provided by Micronesia’s most effective independent schools.


3rd Yap Robo Day a big success for robotics in Micronesia

NIMGIL, Yap (YCHS News, June 08, 2014) — Thanks to the support of both Habele and Waa'gey, twelve YCHS students were able to participate in this year's Robotics program.  The students and their coaches, Mr. Michael Wiencek and Mr. Darrell Holloman, began working on the robots in January. The teams met at least once a week throughout the spring semester and practiced with the robots every day within the final weeks before the annual Yap Robo-Day Competition against the Seventh Day Adventist school.

In this year’s competition, two robots faced off head-to-head on a playing field divided into two halves by an 8 inch high wall. Tennis balls, foam soccer balls, and foam footballs were scattered throughout the playing field. The objective of the game was to place as many balls as possible onto the other team’s side of the wall.  The winning team was the one that had the least number of balls on their side of the wall at the end of two 5-minute rounds.


Donated Dictionaries Headed to Pohnpei, Micronesia (FSM)

A South Carolina based nonprofit has sent a thousand English language dictionaries to the picturesque Island of Pohnpei. Its one of four states in the Central Pacific Ocean that make up the string of islands called the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The dictionaries include an abbreviated atlas, something local island students can use to learn more about distant North American geography.

This unique donation is enough to provide every eighth grade student across Pohnpei State with something previously unheard of – a dictionary of their very own.

More than forty boxes of books will soon arrive in the Pohnpeian city of Kolonia. They will be distributed to the 900 eighth grade students who are enrolled in the roughly 30 public schools across Pohnpei and its Outer Islands. Dictionaries are also enroute to eighth grade students at the Pohnpei SDA School, Calvary Christian Academy, and the Pohnpei Catholic School, as well as readers at the downtown public library.


Waa’gey and Yap Catholic High School launched Culture Program

Outside their classrooms, over twenty students and classroom teacher Patrick Kelly from the Yap Catholic High School (YCHS) along with Waa’gey volunteers were clearing under a shady tree that will become their carving site for the next few months.

A fallen log that had been cut down during the initial clearing of the new school campus was identified for the students to carve their fist canoe.

Before all the carving took place, Larry Raigetal of Waa’gey gave some safety tips on how to handle carving tools including adzes.  A brief lecture was also given on core principles and fundamental values of canoe carving.  The students waste no time is getting their first hands on experience by starting to carve out the main hull of the canoe.

The project which had been in discussion between Waa’gey and YCHS for the past few months was put into motion following a school visit by Waa’gey volunteers where a presentation was given to students on the values of traditional skills including canoe building and navigation.  Mr. Kelly who teaches at the school said the project will also allow students, particularly those who are skilled in hand work to carve other things such as the school seal and crosses to be put on the classrooms.  “The students are very excited in doing this extracurricular work “said Mr. Kelly


Habele installing computer lab on Pohnpei

Habele, a US-based charity, has inaugurated a computer science education program on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei. With the financial assistance of donors Barbara and Ray Dalio, Habele has begun shipping computers, software, and related accessories to Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Pohnpei.

The charity is working closely with Sr. Isabel Seman at Our Lady of Mercy to build the most appropriate computer lab possible for the school’s needs.

“The idea is to teach students the information technology skills they will need the rest of their lives,” said Neil Mellen, a director of Habele. “The twenty-first century is going to be online, and high school students in Micronesia need to start preparing for that reality now.”

Habele has sent the school Mac computers, monitors, peripherals, and the most common commercial software applications students will encounter. The choice of Macs rather than PCs will help familiarize Our Lady of Mercy students with the types of computers used at most of the higher education institutions in the western Pacific, assisting students with the often-difficult transition from high school to university.

Habele aims to provide the school with a total computer package: all the equipment needed to set up a first-rate lab, plus assistance with the installation.