Regular visitors to the Habele blog (as well as those who are subscribed to our widely read rss feed) know that we recently completed payments for the full tuition and fees of two Outer Island girls from the State of Yap who are attending Bethania High School in the Republic of Palau. Our two scholarship awardees are hard working students from large families living on Ulithi, a remote atoll to the west of Yap Proper. Yap is one of four states in the impoverished Federated States of Micronesia, an isolated and neglected former US colony in the central Pacific.
Today (at the post office to mail our care package - see last post) Habele received a correspondence from the administration at Bethania, dated early October. The letter announced an increase in the monthly tuition and food schedule, from $140 to $170.
Running the numbers… we are sponsoring two girls (2) who will both be attending for the full second semester of five months (5) at an additional cost of thirty dollars per month ($30). This means an additional three hundred dollars (US $300.00) will be required. Habele board members have already been in touch with Outer Island community organizations, Peace Corps volunteers past and present, Micronesians living and working in the states, as well as faithful Habele donors; and we are determined to help the families reach this goal! While the amount may be small to our North American readers, it represents roughly one tenth of the Per Capita GDP of a Micronesian (and a much greater portion of the income of a family in the Outer Islands, atolls which have little if any formal cash economy).
Stay tuned for updates, and feel free to help us out by donating online!