Top: Direbrak Elicita Morei of Maiberel. Middle and bottom: Group photo of Maiberel members, representatives of Koror State Government including Governor Gibbons and President Whipps and his Ministers Tmetuchel of HRCTD, Steven Victor of MAFE and Gustav Aitaro of MOS. Also PVA Executive Director Kadoi Ruluked and KSG Director Jennifer Olkeriil.

In support of Koror State’s program of Oidel a Chas Indigenous Medicinal Garden located at what is known as Long Island Park, the Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism, and Development (HRCTD), turned over a variety of tools to the Maiberel, Koror Women’s association, that oversees the Oidel a Chas project.  Oidel a Chas means to transfer knowledge.

The Oidel a Chas medicinal garden contains indigenous plants that are used traditionally as medicines. Some of the plants are endemic to Koror State, meaning they are only found in Koror State, especially the rock islands.  Currently, about 50 different varieties of these indigenous plants are planted in this garden.

President Whipps who was present at the turnover ceremony appreciated the idea of transferring knowledge to the young and urged the Maiberel to bring their kids when they go to the medicinal garden so that they can learn about medicines that were used in the past.

“It reminds me that we need to transfer the knowledge to the young generation.  Without these, we lose that which makes us who we are,” added Whipps.

“The aim is to continue to build resiliency of Koror State’s environment through traditional applications,” said Governor Gibbons of the purpose of the project.

The program falls under Koror State Rock Island Southern Lagoon’s plan of using the traditional approach, traditional practice, traditional methodology, and applications to build resiliency.

“We are happy to see this because it is proof of what we say we will do in the books, we are actually doing now as seen in this partnership with the national government,” expressed Director Jennifer Olgeriil, of Koror State’s Department of Law Enforcement and Conservation.

The fund to buy the tools comes from GEF 6 to the Bureau of Tourism under the Ministry of HRCTD.  The fund is aimed at helping to develop the resiliency of biodiversity according to Minister Ngirai Tmetuchl from HRCTD.

Minister Tmetuchel touched on other potential opportunities that can be realized through this indigenous medicinal garden, especially its monetary value.  Sharing his experiences with Maiberel, he said that the project can be monetized, such as selling ready-made traditional medicines to tourists, developing an accessible trail from the medicinal garden to the top of the rock island and around.

The tools include shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, hoes, pots, pruning shears, axes, gloves, ladders, and many more.

Maiberel, a 71-year-old organization of women from different hamlets of Koror, oversees, monitor, and work with Koror State public work personnel on the medicinal garden.  Dirrebrak Elicita Morei, one of the leaders of Maiberel expressed their appreciation to the Koror State Government and the national government for their support of the project that is so near and dear to their hearts.

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