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FSM church leaders develop three-year strategic plan

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The Federated States of Micronesia Church Leaders Association is developing a three-year strategic plan to address self-destructive behaviors among their youth. The organization has partnered with the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center to mobilize the FSM community on Guam to increase their awareness and commitment to address the risk among their young adults to engage in self-destructive behavior.

Association president Koisimy Rudolph said, "In this partnership, we are supposed to be in the next five years addressing the problems in drinking and smoking with age 18-24. We are going to look at the survey that we did on Phase I with this partnership, which has surveyed the community and now we are going to look at the survey and identify the problems that we found in the survey and try to come up with a three-year strategic plan." A focus group will be assembled involving members of the four states of the FSM over the course of several months and the information will be compiled into the three-year strategic plan.

"Each focus group will have to ask themselves what are the risks and the protective factors. Why are young people drinking and what can be done to prevent young people from drinking?" explained Rudolph.

He adds that they hope to complete their strategic plan by June and then implement that plan from September to 2018. As part of the effort several meetings will take place over the next few months. "Sam Ilisgum from Yap is going to be the one to lead us providing skills about the risks and the protective factors Adonis Mendiola is the director for the youth DYA we feel that he is also important to give us some statistical information about how the young people from the FSM or Freely Associated States are doing," Rudolph added.

Aren Palik, president of the Pacific Island Development Bank, will also provide information on how to become self-sufficient. The event is open to the community in hopes it will foster positive changes in the FSM community. Educators, parents, church goers and students are welcome.

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