(Colonia, Yap) A group of young men from the Neighboring Islands who live on Yap Proper are training to compete in that Micronesian State's Island League Basketball competition.
Their team, called "Weyei," emerged from the boys' participation in "Waa'gey," an after school mentoring program. That group uses traditional cultural skills to teach high students discipline, teamwork and identity.
The boys are to be coached by Waa'gey Director Larry Raigetal of Lamotrek, and former Peace Corps Volunteer Garrett Johnson. The athletes began with a multi-week fundraising effort to earn funds for team jerseys.
US-based Habele, a charity established by former Peace Corps Volunteers, heard about the team and offered to help. "The boys worked hard to raise money and buy jerseys. Habele has designed, ordered and purchased Jerseys, asking the young men to use the money they obtained to support other local civic efforts on Yap," announced Habele volunteer and former Peace Corps Volunteer Scott Leis.
Habele has a proud history of provisioning eager Micronesian student athletes with quality clothing and equipment to compliment their skill and sportsmanship. The nonprofit also provides need- and merit-based tuition scholarships, support for extracurricular science programs, as well as donations to schools and libraries.
"The American people, and in particular those of us who've been lucky enough to spend time in the Islands, are proud of our decades long partnership with the people of Micronesia," explained Leis. "We are particularly grateful to Jeffrey C. Genzer and Colleen Stewart Genzer who served as Peace Corps Volunteers on Yap in the early 1980s, for sponsoring this important project." Mr. Genzer is a partner at the Washington-based Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke law firm.