IOM in the North Pacific at a Glance
IOM established its first office in the region in Majuro in May 2009. The opening of the sub-regional Head Office in Pohnpei followed a few months later. The FSM has been a member state since December 2011 and the RMI acceded to membership on 26 November, 2013.
IOM Ensures Program Sustainability Using Teacher Training
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been rolling out lessons in 50 target schools throughout the FSM and the Marshall Islands under the Australian funded Climate Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction and Education (CADRE) program. For the past two years IOM trainers have been visiting each school to directly deliver the lessons to 8th and 9th grade students for 2 weeks during science period. The trainers collaborate with teachers to refine and adjust their lessons based on the diverse needs of the students. While IOM will continue to deliver the CADRE lessons directly; in an effort to ensure more sustainability of its program, IOM is transitioning toward teacher training as a strategic way to reach even more schools and communities. IOM has reached over 100 educators in the month of February and hopes to continue to embed climate change and disaster preparedness education into schools systems of the FSM and the RMI through empowering local educators in utilizing its materials.
In a unique collaboration with the U.S. Peace Corps, IOM provided training for 18 Peace Corps Volunteers and 18 local counterpart teachers as part of a CADRE-dedicated module within the Peace Corps In-Service Training. The Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts represent 20 schools across Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Kosrae. Notably, 16 out of the 20 schools represented are not covered under the existing CADRE program and as such, are now newly exposed to the curriculum. Dean Anthony Likor, from Nett Elementary school, who participated in the training, shared his positive experience stating: “the lesson plans, tests, demonstrations, handouts, and activities were great. I will replicate these lessons in my own classroom.”
IOM has utilized other opportunities to work with educators, including presentations on February 7, in which IOM trainers were invited to share two presentations with students at the College of Micronesia –FSM, Chuuk Campus. Presentations were given during the Environmental Science and the Tropical Pacific Islands Ecology classes. Instructor Sipenuk exclaimed: “We’re thankful that IOM trainers shared this timely and important information with our future/present teachers. Having outside experts underline and reinforce key concepts being learned in class helps ‘bring it all home’ to our students. Hopefully, our students will take this information back to their communities and share it with them. We hope to continue this newly formed connection with IOM.” These college-level seminars focused on the science of global warming and how climate change is linked to the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme natural hazards.
On February 25, IOM staff also took part in the 11th Annual Teacher Forum at Saladak Elementary School in Pohnpei. A total of 31 teachers, representing 16 elementary schools in Pohnpei participated, and each received a copy of the CADRE curriculum, lesson plans, and posters for their classrooms.
The ultimate goal of these culminating efforts is safer schools and communities in Micronesia; that are empowered and prepared to face climate change impacts of the future.