Fanapi, [fan-ah-pee], literally translated ”lands of the sand” is the Chuukese name for all the low-lying outer islands located beyond the Chuuk lagoon. This website is being built to support the movement to start a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Fanapi Center that will be locally based, locally chartered, locally led, and locally supported with the goal of centralizing the services for people from the outer islands specifically the Northwest regions.
Our programs and services will focus primarily on educational opportunities, community development, health care, leadership development, and cultural preservation for the outer islanders.
The Fanapi Center (Uuten Ataween Fanapi) will be centrally located at the Bay View building on Weno, Chuuk. It will include a Life Museum, office spaces, reading room, conference room, internet cafe, radio station, store, sleeping quarters, a balcony overlooking the Chuuk lagoon, launch for outrigger canoes, space for building a traditional uut for cultural performances and meetings, and offices for all Northwest leadership in the State and National government for easy access to the people.
Inspired to combat poverty caused by a cycle of dependency, the mission of the Fanapi Center is to empower the marginalized people in the Northwest outer islands through education opportunities, community development, health care, and entrepreneurship.
We envision the Fanapi Center as a non-profit organization with the mission of breaking the cycle of disempowerment among the marginalized and underserved populations in the outer island regions of Pattiw, Namonweito, and Pafeng. We aspire to create sustainable social entrepreneurship and self-empowering programs.
Operating with the belief that the people are capable of rising from the cycle of dependency on government handouts toward hard working self-sufficiency, the Center coordinates a series of programs and services aimed at giving the outer islanders a chance to realize their abilities to be self-sufficient.
Having been marginalized by those in the main island centers, neglected by the state and national governments, hindered by self-defeating cycle of dependence on government handouts, and disempowered by an inferiority complex, the challenge is to build citizen-led initiatives to build pride in our abilities to do things for ourselves.
The Fanapi Center is built upon these basic beliefs:
1. First and foremost, we believe that the Fanapi islanders can rise up to accomplish extraordinary things for themselves and their descendants when given the opportunity, freedom, and resource. The Fanapi Center serves as the catalyst for change.
2. We believe in the ability of an island community to transform itself by engaging in the best that technology and research can bring without compromising its rich traditions, culture, and values. Fanapi Center aspires to bridge the modern world with the responsibility of perpetuating the roots and traditions of the people from the outer islands.
3. We believe in the power of grassroots to affect change in our government through understanding, awareness, and active participation. Fanapi Center organizes grassroots advocacy training for the people to self-advocate to elected officials.
4. We believe that education, community development, health care, and cultural preservation are the hallmark of empowerment for the marginalized people in the outer islands. Fanapi Center provides the means and teaches the skills for the people to feel empowered to maximize their self-worth and skills.
5. We believe that Fanapi Center must focus on enabling people who have found success abroad to help their families who continue to live in the outer islands.
Fanapi Center is about alleviating poverty in the outer islands of Micronesia by building sustainable, community-based, locally focused opportunities aided by global resources.
Empowerment: Self-empowerment is the most sustainable way to self-enrichment. We believe that if given the tools and resources, we can have the chance to rise out of poverty into self-sufficiency. Our challenge is must stem from within the island community to want to help themselves. With that approach, it is more about challenging the people to realize their power to succeed than about our giving them any power that they did not already possess.
Engagement: We are humbled by the immensity of needs in our islands. But we are resolved to work with our island communities to work together to find the resources needed to make a long-lasting difference in our own lives today and the future for our children. For opportunities and resources that simply don’t exist in our islands, we implore the help of our sons and daughters abroad and seek partnership with the global community to provide technical assistance to the island communities, empower women and children towards self-sufficiency, enabling greater access to global resources for economic and social development.
Equity: We are referring to the larger issues of global inequities. Our ancestors lived a peaceful resource-filled lives until we were “discovered” by explorers and colonialists. Today we are caught in the inevitability of change and the need for self-preservation. We want to be part of the technological advancement yet we desire to preserve our cultures. We want our children to succeed in a highly advanced world yet we wish to perpetuate our traditional skills to them for future generations. Our challenge is to believe that we have as much a voice in the world and not simply a people to be pitied.
The Board of Directors is responsible for providing the overall leadership, fiduciary duties, vision, policy setting, and development for the Fanapi Center. The Board members will be recruited not necessarily by regional representation but by their area of expertise and depth of commitment to seek ways to help the outer islands. All Board members serve on a volunteer basis and receive no financial compensation for their services. Ideal members will represent the various sectors in the community.
Floren Akkin (Education)
Fr. Florentinus Akkin is the Principal of Weipat High School on the outer island of Onoun. Fr. Akkin attended Piherarh Elementary School, Weipat, Chuuk High School before going on to completing a bachelors degree at the University of Guam and theology studies the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva, Fiji. He represent educational initiatives on the Board.
James A. Naich (Government)
Mr. James Naich is the Deputy Chief of Mission of the FSM Embassy in Washington, DC. Originally from the island of Pollap in the Pattiw Region, Mr. Naich has served our nation in the diplomatic corps for many years and has a great grasp of the needs of the Fanapi islanders overseas. His knowledge of local, national, and international governments will be valuable to the Board.
Erencia Saipweirik, RSM (Women)
Sr. Erencia Saipweirik is a teacher and former Vice Principal at Saramen Chuuk Academy on Weno, Chuuk. Originally from the outer island of Houk, Sr. Eren is a member of the Mercy Sisters and has been a strong advocate for outer island women’s issues. She has sponsored young women from the outer islands to help form them academically, socially, spiritually, and self-esteem building.
Felix Yomai (Health)
Dr. Felix Yomai is a physician at the Chuuk State Hospital who has roots in both the outer islands of Yap and Polowat. In addition to his duties at the hospital, Dr. Yomai is very actively involved with the FSM national sports teams as the team physician. With his vast experience in the health services, Dr. Yomai will advise the Board on issues of healthcare.
Asael Ruda (Religion)
Asael is a missionary from the Pafeng islands who is currently based in Yap, but travels to Chuuk for faith-related outreach efforts. He will represents the religious faith efforts on the Board.
Linda Mori Hartmann (Partnerships)
Linda is a leader in a variety of organizations and projects in the State of Chuuk. A resident of Weno with deep roots in the Northwest region, Linda brings an expertise to the Board on building collaborations with other Weno-based NGOs and other organizations.
Vidalino Raatior (Global)
Vid Raatior is the Director of the Pacific Islanders Student Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Originally from the outer islands of Onoun, Tamatam, and Houk, Vid is the Program Manager of the Fanapi Foundation which is the US-based entity aimed at raising funds and providing technical assistance to the Fanapi Center.
The Advisory Council is a group of leaders who will provide informal advise and inspiration to the Fanapi Center’s efforts in various sectors, associations, and geographical locations.
At this early planning stage of the organization, but when the Center does below is the proposed staffing needs of the Center:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the CEO is responsible for the Center’s overall program development, funding, staffing, and global partnerships.
Director of Operations (Director)
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Operations is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the Center’s staff and coordination and management of all programs, operational and fiscal responsibility.
Program Managers (PM)
Reporting directly to the Director of Operations, the Program Managers are responsible for the day-to-day planning, implementation, and coordination of the various programs within their division of the Center. PMs receive a salary commensurate to their education and experience.
The Office Manager reports to the Director of Operations and is responsible for the day-to-day clerical support for the organization including the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Director, Director of Operations, Program Managers, and serves as a contact for the Center’s volunteers, visitors, and funders.