Final Boxes of Dictionary Donation Reach Yap Students

An ambitious project to provide every middle school student in the Micronesian State of Yap with an English Langauge Dictionary reached a major mile stone this week.

The final shipment of boxes of books arrived in the state's capital city of Colonia where they were received by the State's Department of Education.

The effort began in earnest in mid 2012 when "The Dictionary Project" committed to donate 1,000  student dictionaries to the US-based "Habele" charity, which has been working across Micronesia since 2006. Habele then reached out to Nils Winkler, CEO of Yapital, a European-based electronic payments company. Yapital provided the financial support to process and forward the books to Yap State, and then distribute the texts to students  both on Yap Proper and throughout the remote Outer Islands.

Officials at the State Department of Education volunteered to oversee and coordinate that process of delivering the dictionaries. They worked with Habele, the Yap State Post Office and the Department of Sea Transportation. Seaman on the state supply ship also pitched in, stevedoring the boxes at each of the tiny islands and atolls on the ship's semi-regular field trip. Leaders at DOE also sent thank you letters written by students and teachers throughout Yap back to the donors.

"This was a great project that met a local need and was well executed, explained Nils Winkler, CEO of the Yapital. "Yapital was happy to be part of the effort to get these dictionaries in the eager hands of the students across Yap."

Winkler and several Habele board members were in Yap as the bulk of the shipment arrived this fall. They were able to deliver several boxes of books to schools in person during their "Listening Tour" of the state. "Meeting with students and parents in the Men's Houses of these tiny, isolated and un-develop Pacific Islands was a wonderful opportunity" reflected Winkler. "I'm certain the dictionaries will be put to great -and regular- use!"