US Charity Awards Scholarships to Students from Remote Micronesian Islands

Released on = July 30, 2007, 10:26 pm

Press Release Author = Habele Outer Island Education Fund

Industry = Non Profit

Press Release Summary = A group of former Peace Corps Volunteers and other donors
are sponsoring students from an impoverished island in the Pacific. By giving the
students a chance to attend a competitive schools the volunteers hope to lay the
framework for sustainable community development in Yap\'s Outer Islands.

Press Release Body = (July 31, 2007, Columbia, South Carolina) The Habele Outer
Island Education Fund announced today that it is awarding over $3,500 in high school
scholarships to students from a remote and underdeveloped Pacific Atoll in

Habele, a South Carolina based nonprofit, is comprised of former Peace Corps
Volunteers and other education-minded Americans with an interest in Micronesia, a
Federation of islands in the central Pacific formerly administered by the United
States Department of the Interior.

The recipients are two girls aged 17 and 18 from the islands of Falalop and Asor on
Ulithi Atoll in Yap State. They will be attending classes at the all-girls Bethania
High School in the Republic of Palau.

One of the awards, the Oceanic Society Sea Turtle Scholarship, is being granted
through the support of the Oceanic Society in recognition of the community's ongoing
support for a local sea turtle research and conservation program. The Society is a
US based non-profit marine conservation group involved in environmental expeditions
and education in Micronesia and around the world. Like Habele, the Oceanic Society
recognizes the unique difficulties faced by students in the Outer Islands.

Neil Mellen, Habele's founder explained,

"These isolated atolls in Micronesia face a gamut of social, political, and economic
challenges. Their remoteness and limited natural resources leave them dependent on
government foreign aid which encourages the expansion of an inefficient
public-sector-based economy. The Secretariat of the Pacific reports that fewer than
a fifth of these islanders have access to acceptable sanitation and that infant
mortality rates are five times higher than those the United States.

"Expanding academic opportunity and promoting educational accomplishment is an
essential first step in promoting individual, island, and national sovereignty.
Through scholarships to private schools and material donations to public schools,
Habele is working with the Outer Island Communities to meet this goal."

Mario Suulbech, a Habele volunteer who lives on the Island of Falalop, echoed
Mellen's optimism.

"These girls are the future of our islands. Sadly, some people here are still
skeptical about the value of education and the role of women in our changing
traditions. These particular girls are working hard to prove them wrong, to build a
brighter future for their families, and our island community."

The scholarship winners will travel to and from the school with money raised by
their families, and have signed a strict performance contract that ties their
scholarships to academic targets.

Habele consists of donors and volunteers from throughout the United States and the
Pacific. The Fund has no paid employees and is still seeking support for its ongoing
public school book drives. Visit to learn more.

Web Site =

Contact Details = Habele
701 Gervais Street
Suite 150-244
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

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