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 navigation, continues in these remote islands of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Although at a smaller scale than what it used to be, the important knowledge of their ancestors are 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.

Realizing the challenges brought to the shores of Micronesia by globalization and environmental issues including climate change and rising sea levels, the people of Lamotrek Atoll in Yap worked with Master Navigator Larry Reigetal and his crew to build an outrigger canoe named Lucky Star.


Micronesian Diaspora, Peace Corps, seek support for isolated Island School

Gene Rachielug is from Federai and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. On his last home trip to Ulithi, he met Stephen Guertler a new Peace Corps Volunteer serving on the island. Gene proposed creating an online platform to not only raise awareness on the issues of Climate Change effecting his island home, and raise money and donations to help out the school and the entire community. 

Gene will coordinate all the monetary and in-kind donations, and Stephen will coordinate everything on the ground. 


Break down barriers for FAS migrants, revamp aid to Micronesia - HI Think tank

US aid programs for Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands are deeply flawed, and Micronesians who come to the US seeking a better life often face major challenges as well.

That's the conclusion of a new report published by the Hawaiian-based Grassroot Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

The Institute's new Returning Power to Micronesians in Hawaii report explains how decades of poorly designed and badly managed bilateral aid has stunted economic growth in these three strategically situated Pacific islands nations, collectively known as the Freely Associated States (FAS).

Lack of domestic opportunity, combined with special rights of entry and indefinite residency in the United States, have driven large numbers of Micronesians from the FAS to Guam, Hawaii, and the US mainland in the recent years.

The Returning Power report examines how FAS migrants who come to Hawaii face a second set of challenges in the form of artificial barriers to affordable housing and economic mobility.

Read the full report at GrassrootInstitute.org.



Top Grades for Micronesia's Habele Scholars

Habele scholarship recipients in three Micronesian States are reporting their first quarter grades and have much to be proud of!

The students attend private primary and secondary schools in the FSM capitols through k-12 tuition scholarships awarded by the Habele Outer Island Education Fund.

"This is an exciting time and the hard work of these ambitious students is a source of great pride," explained Stephen Replogle, a Habele Director. "Investments in human capital are essential to growth and prosperity in Micronesia, a strategic US ally spanning the Western Pacific."


Send Books Now to Micronesian Readers

Students and families on Ulithi Atoll and Fais Island want to read. Will you send them books?

Stephen Guertler, a Peace Corps Volunteer, hopes you will. Serving as a school based librarian on the Island of Fedraey (Federai), he has sought Habele's help in putting books in the hands of eager Island readers.


Chinese Research Vessel Detained In Yap

Reprinted from the Yap State Government News Brief,  8/22/2016

COLONIA, Yap (Media Division) — A Chinese research vessel was confiscated by authorities on the evening of August 13, 2016 for allegedly conducting illegal activities within the 12-mile zone of Yap State territorial water.

At 9:44 AM, the research/survey vessel Xiang Yang Hong 19 was sighted by the community in Maap Municipality to be drifting within approximately two to three miles outside the reef. Curious members of the community called the Division of Public Safety and inquired as to what the ship was doing in their water. After several failed attempts to make contact with the ship, the Division of Public Safety mobilized a team of Yap State Police and YFA personnel at 11:57 AM and departed from the YFA dock to investigate the vessel.


Ambitious Micronesians awarded private tuition scholarships

A dozen students from across Micronesia will enroll in prestigious private schools this fall with the help of Habele tuition scholarships. Attendance at these schools radically increases the children’s’ chances of completing school and moving on to higher education.

The investment isn’t coming from a top-down government aid program or an influence peddling foreign conglomerate, it arrives care of Habele, a tiny all-volunteer charity funded entirely by individual Americans with a personal commitment to Micronesia.