In March of 2015 following the aftermath of Cyclone Pam and increasingly invasive king tides, 88 former Peace Corps volunteers that had served in Kiribati united their voices and signed a letter addressed to Kiribati President Anote Tong and U.N. Ambassador Mwakurita Baaro. This letter expressed our sincere intentions to support Kiribati in any way their need for disaster relief and long term planning and advocacy align with our capacity to support.
Kiribati Keepers, Inc. is the resulting 501(c)(3) organization that offers us, as keepers, a way to raise awareness, funds, and support for Kiribati as they continue to navigate the increasingly invasive rising tides and traumatic weather events that threaten the safety and long term sovereignty of this nation facing potential displacement as their land disappears to salt water invasion.
Our Founding Keepers
Mike Roman, Ph.D. MPH MA - Founding Board President
Kateta Tagliavento - Founding Board Vice President and Current Acting Board President
Ross Maitinnara - Founding Board Treasurer
Gina Beyer - Founding Board Secretary
Wen-Chih O'Connell - Founding Board Consulting Officer
Becky Martinez - Founding Executive Director
Our Current Board Members:
President: Kateta Tagliavento
Vice President: Laura Werner-Ambo
Secretary: Gina Beyer
Treasurer: Wen-Chih O'Connell
The mission of Kiribati Keepers is to provide disaster relief in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati as well as help contribute to the relocation effort of citizens currently living on islands soon to be deemed uninhabitable due to cyclones, king tides, and sea water invasion onto their tiny, atoll islands.
The vision of Kiribati Keepers is to keep Kiribati and its people safe and sovereign, thriving as independent, equipped, and empowered residents living in places where their culture and way of life is respected.
Our Core Values
Self-Determination – Kiribati Keepers works in ways to preserve cultural identity and promote the self-reliance and empowerment of the Kiribati government and its people.
Safety – Kiribati Keepers protects and responds to needs that threaten the safety of Kiribati people.
Sustainability – Kiribati Keepers engages in work that prioritizes implementation methodologies that ensure sustainability.
Sovereignty – Kiribati Keepers aims to help Kiribati maintain sovereignty and dignity during the unprecedented impact of climate change on their land and throughout the consequential displacement of their people.