Monday, September 5, 2011

Ne lavea ne koe te mea a maua ne fai ai?

A new academic year at BYU-Hawai’i brings a lot of changes. It’s a bittersweet cycle of saying tofa to our previous SIFE friends, including former project leader Doug Bischoff and SIFE chapter president Nate Williams. Spencer and Kylie Turley, the dynamic duo that began this blog and the excellent video clips you see here have moved on to South America, continuing their travels and making new memories and friendships.

However, the change also brings new faces into the project- fresh ideas, loads of enthusiasm, perspective, and expertise. We maintain the old team and add a few new people to help move the project forward.

We are very happy to report a productive summer. Kaleb Valdez and Lowell Nash spent the summer on the U.S. Mainland, visiting supporters and business advisory board members for SIFE’s leadership and mentor body. They spoke at a variety of speaking engagements on Tuvalu and the club’s work there, reporting on the progress of several initiatives and exploring future partnerships and projects with the CEO’s and leaders of several major companies and organizations. They also renewed contact with some of SIFE’s friends and donors from the past and expressed our thanks for their contributions.
Their itinerary took them into Canada, where the Ockey family graciously hosted them and discussed the future of the Olave Preschool to be built, as well as our dates and itinerary for this year’s trip. We also shipped two pallets of books from the Cache County School District in Utah to our team in Hawai’i, led by Easter Niko. They’ve worked hard to sort the books and prepare the best, full classroom sets to be shipped to Fiji and then on to Tuvalu.

We look forward to adding some additional empowerment blasts to our round of workshops this year. We’re forming more partnerships and expanding our already-international network of experts in energy, economics, education, waste management, and public administration. We appreciate the hard work of our liaisons in the Tuvaluan government, particularly the Ministry of Education as we prepare to install this school. People watch this project from across the globe- we have regular readers of this blog in over a dozen countries and have received excellent feedback from government and civil leaders as well as concerned and generous citizens that contribute to this cause. The world is finally learning about Tuvalu and is watching to see what will happen next.

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