Habele Annual Report Issued

Charity Reports Support for Micronesian Students

An American charity working in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) released its annual report today, detailing support provided to schools and students over the last year.

The “Habele” Outer Island Fund is a US-based nonprofit organization established in 2006 by a group of former Peace Corps Volunteers. In 2010 the organization provided tuition scholarships to 21 students attending non-public elementary and high schools in the FSM. The scholarship winners came from Outer Islands and Lagoon Islands across the States of Yap and Chuuk.

“We are excited to see demand for these scholarships grow,” explained Marc McNamara, a Habele Director. “We had more than three applications for each scholarship we could award this year. The interest is quite strong and the students who’ve earned Habele scholarships are excelling in the classroom.”

The K-12 tuition scholarships issued by Habele are a form of “School Choice,” extending access to private schools to middle and low-income families. “It’s about the best classroom for each student, and giving parents a way to get more involved in their child’s education,” noted McNamara. The report highlighted data from the US and FSM governments indicating student achievement and graduation rates at public schools in Micronesia have stagnated. That’s despite major financial aid from the US government through the Compact of Free Association that links the two nations.

The report also detailed Habele’s development of a Ulithian-English Dictionary. The dictionary was created to support public school classroom teachers in the Outer Islands of Yap. The publication was the first of its kind and copies were widely distributed to educators across the State.

The full annual report can be found online at www.habele.org.