“It’s a privilege to be part of the WAM organization. They have developed a unique program that combines preserving Marshallese culture through canoe building and sailing with teaching life skills that assist in navigating the ‘real world’ job market.”
Tamie started work as WAM’s Associate Director in October, 2015. She hails from Washington State and she and her husband, Joel, arrived in the Marshall Islands on their yacht Good News in December, 2014. The Bowmans have lived in Micronesia since 2008, mainly based in US Territory of Guam. Tamie was excited to learn about WAM and the program’s efforts to teach traditional canoe building and sailing skills to the youth of the Marshall Islands. As Associate Director she is assisting Director Alson Kelen in all aspects of program operations, the writing of grant applications, promoting the organization … and managing the website!
Tamie has been involved in various business and volunteer activities and is now actively receiving training to raise her skills in program management and grant writing.
Bellingham, Washington State, US
“I enjoy working at WAM because I want to help the students. I do this through my book-keeping and accounting and taking care of the money, including the grants we receive from our many generous donors.”
Bachelor of Science (Computer Science).
Negros Occidental, Philippines
Joined WAM in 2015
“I live in Laura, at the western side of Majuro, and enjoy working at the Waan Aelõñ in Majel Program as a trainer. My goal is to work with the youth and teach them tool names, tool usage, and work skills such as canoe and boat building. I also teach them how to cook healthy food.”
Certificate of Completion in the Waan Aelõñ in Majel Program
Joined WAM in 2006
Home island: Majuro
“Working for WAM is win-win-360. While promoting and conserving our precious culture, we’re utilizing it to provide a future for our young people and a sustainable livelihood for our fragile nation.”
Alson, who is a certified counselor, has been involved in the traditional canoeing culture of the Marshall Islands for a number of decades. For four years, he assisted the Waan Aelõñ Kein (These Islands) project to document the step-by-step construction of Marshallese canoes. In the late 1990s, he co-founded the Waan Aelõñ in Majel program, a registered Non-Government Organization.
As well as being the ongoing Director of WAM, Alson has worn many hats over the years, including the following:
Mayor of Bikini Atoll (November 2009 to 2011)
Councilman for Bikini Atoll (November 2007 to November 2009)
Chairman of Marshall Islands Shipping Corporation (2006 to present)
President, Council of NGOs (2005 to present)
Alson’s many achievements relating to canoes includes writing and compiling the following:
Traditional Canoe and Canoe Model Building Workbook, English version
Traditional Canoe and Canoe Model Building Workbook, Marshallese version
Canoe and Canoe Model Building Manual, English version
Canoe and Canoe Model Building Manual, Marshallese version
Home island: Bikini