"Charity Wraps Up Successful Listening Tour in Yap"
News Release from Habele.org
Habele Directors and supporters just completed their 2012 “Listening Tour” in Yap State, Micronesia. Meetings were held with state government officials, traditional chiefs, public and private school educators, as well as parents and community members in the villages.
Habele scholarship recipients
Shortly before the trip, Yap State Legislators passed a resolution officially praising Habele’s six years of service to the students of Yap. The Speaker and Governor both communicated their belief that targeting support for students in intermediate and high school grades remains the best use of the charity's limited resources. The Council of Tamol and other traditional leaders encouraged Habele to expand its mission to serve all economically disadvantaged students, rather than only those from outer and distant lagoon islands.
Habele meets with Yap House Speaker
Principals and teachers told Habele Directors that after school programs such as Waa’gey (traditional canoe carving and weaving) and the Vex Robotics clubs have been genuine “game changers” for participating students. They asked for support to expand these extracurricular efforts during the Director's site visit to schools on Yap and in the Outer Islands.
The Women’s associations and the Waa’gey traditional skills programs also thanked Habele for its donations of materials and funds. They both asked for Habele’s support in raising awareness of their work outside of Micronesia. Finally, public and private school educators asked Habele to repeat the statewide “Dictionary For Every Eighth Grader” donation on a yearly basis.
Regina Raigetal, a Habele Director, explained, "The feedback was constructive; the encouragement thrilling. Parents and educators communicated a genuine sense of gratitude. They want Habele to grow and gave us specific, actionable program ideas." "The social and economic challenges faced by Yap -and all of Micronesia- represent an opportunity for Habele," said Neil Mellen, another Habele Board Director.
"Our targeted programs for students are academically effective and economically efficient. Habele’s slow-and-steady grassroots growth strategy is being validated by praise and encouragement among official leaders and, more importantly, 'back in the villages.'"
"As the only US-based nonprofit solely serving students in Micronesia, Habele’s position remains unique and our ability to affect positive change enormous," added Raigetal.
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