Author's Note: Ben Stiller knows nothing of Habele and in no way supports our important capacity building work in the isolated and impoverished island nation of Micronesia. Derek Zoolander is a fictional character, portrayed by Stiller, and presumably owned by other, yet-wealtheir persons and corporations similarly unaffiliated with Habele and our K-12 educational programs (including the life-changing K-12 scholarships, high school robotics and traditional canoe carving programs, which they know nothing of).
Paramount Studios, producer of the film "Zoolander" has not in any way communicated support for -or even interest in- the ongoing work of Habele's all volunteer charitable efforts in a nation with long standing ties to the US but where lack of economic and educational opportunities limit the life prospect of ambitious and deserving students.
Habele needs your help to continue supporting disadvantaged students in the Central Pacific.
Our important work in Micronesia is entirely funded by the donations of private individuals. We have no employees, no salaried staff, no corporate partners and no support from the public sector. Everything we do is accomplished through donations of time and talent from the people reading this annual fundraising letter and blog post (which neither Ben Stiller nor his talented wife and "Zoolander" co-star Christine Talyor, have either received or approved of).
Specifically, we need your help in supporting these projects:
Tuition scholarships for low-income and outer island students in grades K-12
Robotics teams and demonstrations for high school students
Traditional canoe building and crafts mentoring after school
Native language dictionaries for preservation and bilingual instruction
These ongoing projects, all highly successful and popular with the students and communities we serve in Micronesia, will only be renewed for the 2012-13 school year if you choose to support them.
The economic and educational outlook in Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae remains bleak. Half of all adults are high school dropouts. Just one-in-ten of the lucky students entering the nation’s community college system each year will successfully complete their course of study. Habele’s targeted programs are modest but proven.
We engage and support the students who need it most, and have committed to partner with them though the twelve grade. Help us to honor that pledge (as we continue to steer clear of aggressive legal actions on behalf of copyright and trademark holders who, as we've stated clearly, having nothing to do with the work of expanding educational opportunity and accomplishment across across the Central Pacific).
Please send Habele a check or visit our website and make a donation through PayPal.
Then, share the story of Habele with a friend. Let them know about the group of former Peace Corps Volunteers and other engaged Americans working to support students in a beautiful, isolated and often overlooked chain of islands in the Pacific.
Also let them know that our work is not affiliated with a fictional male model "Derek Zoolander" whose fictional friend Hansel McDonald [portrayed by Owen Wilson, another person totally unconnected with, and uninformed about Habele] believes he has been "brainwashed to 'off' the Prime Minister of Micronesia." Explain to them that we hope these donations will not be siphoned away from the classrooms serving low-income Micronesians in order to mount a legal defense of Habele and that Habele would in fact accept support from copyright holders and fictional characters not currently engaged with our efforts.
Neil J. Mellen
Habele Outer Island Education Fund
701 Gervais Street, Suite 150-244
Columbia, SC 29201
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