The Carolinian Affairs Office has reportedly surpassed its expected number of participants for its current grant cycle.
According to CAO project manager Paul Ythemar yesterday, the grant that the CAO received last year—from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Native Americans—was only intended to have 200 Carolinian students (consisting of 125 students aged 10-17, and 75 students aged 18 and above) maintaining at least 10 traditional knowledge and practices through participation in CAO activities.
Ythemar said the office was able to get more than the expected number last year, with the CAO attracting more than 400 Carolinian students to participate.
The CAO accomplished this by integrating many activities to its classes. That included lava lava-making, bead necklace making, coconut oil making, flower crown weaving, weaving, subsistence fishing, dry fish preparation, cooking, creating traditional medicine, survival skills, and others.
Super Typhoon Yutu in October last year delayed some of CAO’s programs and operations but Ythemar said they were able to continue operations with the project last March and have seen its number of participants stabilize. In his presentation to ANA Commissioner Jeannie Hovland and other federal grantors last July 1, Ythemar said, “They were aware of the situation and understood what we were going through.”
CAO is currently working with the Division of Youth Services on the Summer Youth Empowerment Camp, and Ythemar says that participant numbers will increase. He said that CAO will also host farming and cooking classes around August and September.