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Pacific Islands

Taking Root. Sprouting Growth.

By Fuana Temarsel, WestCare Pacific Islands – PREP: Palau

Instead of the usual indoor classroom sessions, PREP participants in the summer were treated to a trip back in time to learn how their modern world connects with their cultural roots. Our youth were taken to various historical sites to learn how the Palauan culture applies and ties to some of the concepts from our evidence-based program lessons. For example, one of the core concepts from PREP’s selected curriculum, “Draw the Line/Respect the Line,” is boundary-setting. The Palauan legend of “The Mother and Child,” reiterated this same core value of respecting boundaries. This legend, passed down from one generation to the next, tells the story of a woman and her child turning into stone after the woman peeked into the men’s meeting house, which was considered to be forbidden. Though it seems harsh by today’s standards, the story translated the curriculum’s primary life skill of identifying personal limits and respecting others’, which continues to be instilled in the Palauan culture today.

Learning their cultures’ stories and rich history not only enhanced our youth’s personal responsibility and healthy relationship skills but also strengthened their ownership of their Palauan identity.

Transportation to these site activities was made possible through a partnership that our program has with the Koror State Government. This was truly a fitting and unforgettable experience as the team closes our PREP’s final year!

As we pivot from six memorable years of teen pregnancy prevention, the team in Palau is excited to expand its services through a grant received from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs – Technical Assistance Program (TAP). This grant will enable our team in Palau to provide support services to youth and their families. It will enhance Palau’s resources to strengthen families that include tutoring for students and parenting classes for young parents, all conducted at the soon-to-be-opened Cheberdil Belau Center. Inspired by its translation “young sprout”, Cheberdil is rooted in serving the community and will nurture the growth of healthy family relationships.

By WestCare

We're a family of nonprofit organizations providing a wide spectrum of health and human services across the United States, 3 U.S. territories, and 2 Republics.

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