Betelnut Radio, the most far-reaching Island Music radio station in the world, is helping to raise awareness about Habele.
The radio station broadcasts an eclectic variety of Pacific Island songs through a range of mobile and desktop applications. Listeners are able to tune in or log on from nearly anyplace on the globe to hear songs from the Pacific.
This month, the station has generously begun airing Public Service Announcements (PSAs) highlighting the work of Habele, a US-based charity that serves students in Micronesia.
Betelnut Radio started in July of 2010 after a not-so-serious discussion about Pandora – a popular internet radio website – lacking Chamorro artists appeared on Frank "Kiko" Oliver Facebook wall, providing a food for thought that would eventually turn into one of Kiko's biggest projects. With the help of family and friends, he set the idea into motion.
"We only started with 300 songs and streamed out of (my house). It was pretty cool hearing local music streamed on the internet while we were relaxing in the backyard," he laughs.
"We even had a little following of about 12 friends, who we'd call beta testers, who would listen every night." Kiko recalls spending hours and hours searching for good music through family, friends, record labels, artists and even the Micronesian Seminary for their Pohnpeian song library.
In May of 2012, Bert Javier, another project partner, reached out to Habele, offering to raise awareness of the charity's work through the growing medium. As the station's public service announcements explain, Habele has been providing students in the Federated States of Micronesia with tuition scholarships and school supplies since 2006. The announcements draw particular attendance to Habele's growing extracurricular programs for high school students.
"It is always a challenge for us to raise awareness of our work and get support for it since most [US] mainlanders have no idea where the islanders even are!" explained Marc McNamara, a Habele Director. "These PSAs are really special to us since Betelnut Radio's audience is a very targeted group of people with ownership in the Islands' future."
Listen to Betelnut radio and learn more at https://betelnutradio.com/listen