F.O.M. 2017 Scholarships Awarded by the Easter Island Foundation


The Easter Island Foundation has announced the annual awarding of the 2017 Fraternal Order of Moai scholarships to six students of Rapa Nui ancestry. These scholarships were funded by money raised at Ohana Luau by the Lake in Lake George, New York; Ohana Luau by the Sea in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and the Tour de FOM bike trip.

The Scholarship winners are:

Emilou Vaeari Benitez Tepano; Public relations/Marketing - Fraternal Order of Moai Ohana Scholarship ($2000)

"I will go back to the island and create my own small communications company, that will be the first one on the island. I consider that this could help the Rapanui people in different ways. Communication is a powerful tool in different aspects or expressions; it’s so powerful that it could influence or change the ways people behave or even how they think or act. The island needs important changes, especially in the social aspect. Public Relations is a profession that for many years has influenced the way we relate with to big business, brands and organizations, that is why I would like to focus my career on culture and sports, where the people of the island have a lot of potential."

Marari Taura‘a Riroroko Cabezas; Agronomy - Fraternal Order of Moai Tangata Manu Scholarship ($2000)

"One of my projects in the future is to correct the problem with untreated water on Rapa Nui. I would like to implement a system where wastewater s treated for the whole community and used as irrigation water for fertilization and crops. My greatest desire is to combat erosion, which increases every day due to rain, winds and excessive traffic of animals and humans. In the past year, I learned about useful and beneficial tools that could be applied on Rapa Nui, such as innovative irrigations systems that collect water from rain for use on crops and the recognition of fungal diseases present in crops and their control and prevention. These tools that have given me the knowledge that I can use in the future for the betterment of our everyday lives on Rapa Nui."

Maeha Vaiora León Duran; Fashion design/Industrial Process Laboratory - Fraternal Order of Moai S– holarship ($2000)

"I want to return to Rapa Nui to carry out workshops to teach the care and way of using Rapanui materials such as mahute, kakaka and seashells (pipi, pure, etc.). The workshops will consist of teaching basic skills to take measurements, make molds, and the use of different machines to begin to develop small companies and organize ideas to create a collection. The aim is to save and preserve ancestral clothing and to improve the quality and preparation of garments to be used in parades and cultural festivals."

Tipanie Blanco Velásquez; Medicine - Fraternal Order of Moai Scholarship ($2000)

"Once I finish my studies, I will work first on the continent (Chile), to gain more experience as a doctor. In addition, I want to provide for support and guidance to all the Rapanui people who must go the continent for medical reasons, because few people on the continent fully inform the Rapanui people of the medical procedures and administrative steps they must take. Afterwards, I will return to the island to offer my professional services to the Rapanui community. With more experience and belonging to the Rapa Nui culture, I will be able to provide good quality service as a doctor, not only professionally but also as a protector of Rapanui culture, knowing the needs of the people of the island. I would like to do projects, together with other health professionals, to give the Rapanui people full and quality care, so that the smallest number of people on the island have to travel to the continent to go to the doctor."

Américo Loyola Edmunds; Agronomy; Roger Danger Carlson Award ($1,525)

"After completing the program in Engineering in Agriculture, I am currently taking a course on the installation of photovoltaic solar panels. I would like to be able to create a sustainable project for agriculture on Rapa Nui based on renewable energy emitted by the solar panels. The possibility of continuing my studies for a year and a half more to get a degree to Agronomy motivates and encourages me, and as I acquire more knowledge and experience, both practical and theoretical, I can later teach classes at the Agricultural School "Aldea Educativa" on the island to the future generations."

Oscar Pakomio Jara; Physical Education and Health - Fraternal Order of Moai Scholarship ($2000)

"During this year I carried out my professional practice and my thesis which was based on a comparative study between the level of active displacement between the students of the continent and Rapa Nui. This motivated me to continue investigating and carrying out studies in the Rapa Nui village, since, very few studies exist on the island, in terms of living habits, daily habits, etc., especially in the field of health. Only by enhancing the study and research of our island in various subjects, we can improve our quality of life on the island, which is a task in which everyone can and should participate. This is one of the reasons that motivates me to continue studying and improving in my area of expertise, deepening my knowledge and acquiring greater tools to improve the life and prestige of my beloved island."

The 2017 Ohana Luau by the Lake is fast approaching! Proceeds from both of these events will help fund scholarships in 2018. Join the Moai at our events and experience a special brand of "fun with a purpose."

Please visit http://www.fraternalorderofmoai.org/ for more information about our events.

Keep the Torches Burning,

-Tagata Maori Rogorogo

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