Late in October, participants in the Habele Listening Tour waded ashore on the Island of Asor.
They brought with them a box of English student dictionaries; part of a larger, statewide donation providing each and every middle school student in Yap State with a personal dictionary for use at home and school.
Delivery of this box to the community of Asor, Ulithi marked the final step in a far-reaching effort. The initiative began in June with collaboration between Habele and the Dictionary Project, who provided the texts. Cases of dictionaries began to arrive on Yap Proper in early August where officials from the Yap State Department of Education worked with the Post Office, FSM Customs and Tax Administration, and the State Transportation Department to process the shipment and direct the boxes toward their final destinations.
Nearly half of the books were sent to students attending schools in the remote Outer Islands of Yap State. The majority of these reached their destination in September aboard the Yap State transport vessel, the MV Hapilmohol, whose captain and crew worked with Lorenzo Sartilug. Sartilug serves as neighboring island coordinator for the Department of Education. On Yap Proper, the Education Department Director Vincent Parren and his staff simultaneous distributed boxes to schools throughout Colonia and Yap’s ten municipalities.
The final boxes, slated for the islands of Ulithi (the closest Outer Island to Yap Proper) reached Falalop, Ulithi in November, aboard a Pacific Missionary Airline (PMA) flight. These parcels were received by Lazarus Ulith, who arranged transportation for the books and members of Habele’s Listening Tour within the Atoll. On each of the Atoll’s four islands, Habele Directors held meetings with educators and parents to solicit feedback and answer questions about Habele’s tuition scholarships, library donations and extracurricular programs.
Also in the meetings was Nils Winkler, CEO of Yapital, a European-based electronic payments company. Yapital sponsored the Statewide Dictionary Project, delivering the 1,000 dictionaries to middle school students, as part of its ongoing partnership with Habele to support K-12 students across Yap State. Following the discussions, the boxes of dictionaries were presented to each island’s school principal.