Islands' Chiefs Learn About Cultural After School Program

Waa’gey founder and volunteer Mr. Larry Raigetal gave a presentation to the Council of Tamol (chiefs) from the neighboring islands of Yap on the ongoing activities of his group's work.

Waa'gey is a Habele supported extracurricular program. It uses a mentorship model to support at-risk high school aged students through the instruction of traditional cultural skills.

Following a brief introduction from Andy Tafileichig, the acting Chairman of the council, Mr. Raigetal provided a brief summary of what the program mission and objectives were.  He said, Waa’gey is premised on the need to protect and safeguard our dynamic cultures by providing hands on opportunities in canoe carving, rope making, fish trap making, and weaving among others for the younger generation of the state.   Raigetal also briefed the councilmen on Waa’gey’s key partnership with two foreign entities namely a US based charity organization Habele and Yapital a European company. He said both organizations have been very supportive in providing tools and equipment to support Waa’gey in addition to providing scholarships for Yapese students attending private primary and secondary schools.

Following the brief summary, a lively discussion including questions and comments were entertained. The consensus of the councilmen was that the program is vital to the need to preserve the dynamic cultures and traditional skills of the islands by keeping the future generation of the state engaged.  The group felt that COT must be encaged and get more involved in the project including being on the organization’s board of directors, an idea that is much welcomed by Waa’gey.  It was also discussed by the group and agreed that support from the main island is critical as the program is for the entire state of Yap.  As such, it was shared amongst the members that the Council of Tamol must give its support to the program as it is in line with its own mission to protect our culture.

The councilmen also expressed appreciation for the scholarship program extended from Habele and assure of their future support in encouraging their island students to apply.