Friday, March 15, 2013

Fiin Chuuk celebrated IWD 2013 Chuukese way

Friday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day and the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) joined women around the world in celebrating this special day by honoring ten (10) Courageous Chuukese Women and highlighting their achievements in Chuuk State.
The CWC membership selected the women based on their active roles and contributions in their professional, family, community, church, State and National government lives.
To begin the day, over 300 women met in a “March-A-Thon” to represent the solidarity of women within our communities.  Walking together and singing, this moving symbol of women unity headed to the Anderson Field from the old Stop & Shop parking lot. Fiin Alisi Mama Emiko Souleng christened this special event including the awards ceremony for the recognized 10 women.
Ms. Kiki Stinnett, President of CWC, gave an overview of International Women’s Day and presided over the recognition ceremony for the recipients of the “ Ten (10) Courageous Women”  merit award. The honorees included: 

Sr. Faustina, left, and Kiki Stinnett

Sr. Faustina Nedelec is now 75 years old. Celebrated her Golden Jubilee August 21, 2010 where family members, the Catholic Church, government leaders and community leaders jointed the festivities to honor her accomplishments on Fefan.  Sr. Faustina has over 50 years’ experience working and helping children, youth, men and with women.  She is passionate and committed to promoting education learning and her commitment to advancing women’s involvement in the church and community.

Tersita Aten
Tersita Aten served as Chuuk State First Lady during the period of 1978 and 1986 when her late husband was Governor.  During her term as first lady she was very instrumental in the formation of the Chuuk State Red Cross and continues to support the FSM Red Cross today.  She graduated from Lorreto Academy High School in Kansas and maintained her position as Executive Secretary for the Department of Public Safety until she retired.  She is the founder of the Club 20 that promotes education and focuses on fundraising to secure funds for High School Scholarships. They also recognize Outstanding Students at all the High Schools during Graduation Ceremony every year.

Maria William
Maria William is a true “Woman of Service “as described by her daughter Julia William.  Maria William began her career in Education as a teacher’s aide at the St. Cecilia School. After a number of years as a teacher’s aide she moved to Iras Elementary School and began teaching. During her time at Iras, she furthered her personal education at the College of Micronesia, Prell Program, and by attending the summer programs held by Eastern Oregon College in Chuuk. She eventually became the Principal of Iras and held this position for many years, until her promotion to Superintendent for the Northern Namoneas Elementary School. In addition to her educational career, Ms. William is a busy member of the community served at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish faithfully, while fulfilling many commitments to her busy life and family of 12.

Yurie Gouland
Yurie Gouland was born July 2, 1943 and is the mother of 14 children.  She is a former Chuuk State First Lady and was the founder of the Chuuk Women’s Council.  She remains a faithful Advisor to the CWC, raised her children and numerous grandchildren religiously, and is actively involved with serving the church that carries her father’s name “Keter Memorial Church”. Mrs. Gouland is an accomplished and dedicated public servant who has done justice to her role as First Lady of Chuuk State.

Chineina Graham
Chineina Graham was born April 7th, 1946. Her collegiate career included the College of Micronesia and the University of Hawaii.  Her education focused on elementary education, including summer professional trainings from 1962-1977. Chineina has also worked in a multitude of business functions, including serving as a legal counselor & consultant for the Micronesia Legal Services Corporation, officer and advisor to many local organizations and charities including CWC, Tobacco Coalition, and was founder and Vice President of Ship/Hoops. Chineina has also dedicated her life to being an exemplary mother, having 3 children, one of whom competed as an Olympic wrestler in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Tanceny Reynold
Tanceny Raynold served as the first Chuuk State Government Women Interest.  During that time she also served on the FSM Women Advisory Council and as Vice President for CWC.  She graduated from Mizpah Christian High School and has always been very committed to public service and continues to promote Christianity and Education in Chuuk. She is also co-founder of the Nukuno Christian High School on Tonowas Island.

Carmina L. Billy
Carmina L. Billy, born July 14, 1954.  Educated in Guam, Carmina served as Assistant Coordinator for the Early Childhood Education Program for the Chuuk State Department of Education. Within the community, she personally organized and currently serves, as the Advisor to the Inamwoto Ramalum Women’s Association.  Carmina is the Chairperson for the CWC Board.

Dr. Rita Mori, left, and Ms Eleanor Setik
Dr. Rita Mori, born January 22, 1954. She earned her undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State College in the U.S. and her medical education was pursued in Pohnpei with her post-graduate studies being completed in Fiji. Dr. Rita is the acting obstetrician and gynecologist at Chuuk State Hospital and provides training to local NGOs regarding maternal-child health.  Dr. Rita owns and runs a local clinic and pharmacy with her husband. She is a member of the Pacific Basin Medical Association, the Chuuk Medical Association, the Pacific Society of Reproductive Health, President of the Club 20 and Advisor to CWC.
Eleanor Setik, RN, N.P., was born January 1, 1957. She completed her collegiate study at the College of Micronesia in Nursing, continued her undergraduate degree at UCLA Women’s Health Center where she earned her Nurse Practitioner license.  Currently, she is based at Public Health in the Chuuk State and serves as the HIV/AIDS Coordinator. She is actively involved in the Chuuk Women’s Council, and serves as Vice Chairperson and for the Chuuk State Health Services Quality Assurance Committee.

Dr. Dorina Fred-Reselap
Dr. Dorina Fred-Reselap was born July 8, 1967. Doria attended the College of Micronesia’s School of Nursing where she earned her AS in nursing. She worked for Chuuk State Hospital as a nurse until completing the University of Hawaii at Manoa Pacific Basin Medical Officer Training Program in Pohnpei. She finished the program with a MBBS and returned to Chuuk to work in Public Health. Currently, Dr. Reselap serves as the MDRTB physician at Chuuk State Hospital. Her work with MDRTB earned her the CDC’s National Award for Humanitarian Assistance to Patients. She has also served as an officer for the Chuuk Medical Association.
CWC used this day to highlight the strength and capacity of Chuukese women with a Track & Field competition that included about 300 women who were divided into seven (7) competitive teams. Each team wore their own colorful headbands which identified them to the delight of their many cheering fans.
The various teams signified a specific issue within the community unique to women or an issue the women of Chuuk have been actively involved in during this year. These issues included Domestic Violence (Yellow), Tuberculosis (Maroon), Beautification (Purple), HIV/STI (Red), Diabetes (Blue), Cancer (Pink), and Nutrition (Green).
The seven (7) teams competed in a number of track and field events which included the 60 &100-meter dash, the Pinchiri, a walking race, a relay race, and the crowd’s favorite, the Tug-O-War.  Prizes were given out to all who participated.
When the dust settled and the cheering died down, the Domestic Violence team won the day and took the coveted 1st place award along with the bragging rights that goes with winning - but only until next year!
Hopefully, this event will encourage continued vigilance on the part of all the women of Chuuk, and the Chuuk Women’s Council, to stop or significantly reduce the instances of Domestic Violence over the next year and to continue strengthening the voice of women in Chuuk!
A Special Kinisou Chapur is extended to FSM Congressman at Large, Wesley Simina, who sponsored this worthwhile event.  CWC also expresses their appreciation to the local business that donated and contributed to the success of the event.

Submitted by Kiki Stinnett

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