On Tuesday, July 13, Chargé d’ Affaires Kristin Westphal and Grants Management Specialist Cheryl Burkindine, Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs received a model loom from the Habele Weaving
Connections Project. Habele Outer Island Education Fund (Habele) is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that works closely with schools in the FSM to promote education, science, and STEM programs. In 2020 Habele received a $35,550 grant from the U.S. Government through the Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) Technical Assistance Program (TAP) for the Weaving Connections Project. This project promotes the sharing of cultural weaving skills of Yap State women. Weavers from the outer islands of Yap that are currently residing in the United States can preserve their weaving skills by being able to assemble the loom and used readily available materials.
The loom was presented in a brief ceremony at U.S Embassy Kolonia by students from Habele’s K12 Tuition Scholarship program, which ensures that Micronesian students have access to quality education. You can learn more about their various scholarships at habele.org.