Effort underway to reach out to FSM community - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Effort underway to reach out to FSM community

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - There's an ongoing effort to gather members of the local community to help educate and bring more resources to the local Federated States of Micronesia population who call Guam home. 

"What we did is we rounded up instrumental people who play different roles in the community," explained Office Paul Tapao, the coordinator for the Guam Crimestoppers program. Members of the FSM community, representatives from the Guam Police Department, the Department of Youth Affairs and other service organizations have partnered together to reach out to all facets of the community in an effort to make Guam's streets safer.  Officer Tapao continued, "Our main goal is to reach out to the families and try and teach them how to care about what's going on in the community and how to care about their families and hopefully it spreads throughout the whole neighborhood and from there you'll start seeing a reduction in crime and everything."

Youth member Eddie Winis has played an integral part of getting the message to the FSM youth.  He and several others started a group, Nate Wined, last year in an effort to show island residents that there are positive contributions made every day by FSM citizens who call Guam home. "A lot of things that we hear and people know about is always the negative impact that Micronesians have so Nate Wined is a group that showcases the hardworking Micronesians, Micronesian soldiers, business owners and stuff like that," Officer Tapao explained.

Last month, following the tragic hit and run death of 17-year-old J.R. Isack, the group organized a candlelight vigil and just last week they organized the first No Alcohol Day, getting more than 300 people in the FSM community to give up drinking on that one day. Winis also put together the TYM Group (Team Youth Micronesia), which has partnered with DYA and Island Girl Power. "We set up recreational activities for them to keep Micronesian youth busy so they can stay out of trouble. So we have recreational activities such as art, sports. We also have tutors, music and dance," Winis said.

DYA director Adonis Mendiola told KUAM News, "This community outreach program is designed so its inclusive not exclusive of FSM persons inclusive of our Chamorros, locals, Filipinos. Locals because you stay here long enough you become local."  He says the outreaches are meant to help the FSM community take the beginning steps of having safe and healthy neighborhoods. "United like this, I know we can see all of Micronesia coming together," he explained.

Winis in the meantime will share his message at island campuses beginning at JFK High School in Upper Tumon on March 28.  For those who would like to join the movement, you can visit Team Youth Micronesia on Facebook or email natewined@gmail.com

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