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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA awards more than $2.7 million in grants to community nonprofits

HONOLULU – Projects designed to strengthen Hawaiian cultural identity, support instruction in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, encourage ʻāina stewardship, prepare students for career readiness and help reintegrate those emerging from the justice system will be receiving a boost from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

At their June meeting, OHA trustees approved more than $2.7 million in grant awards to 16 community nonprofits that serve Native Hawaiians. The nonprofits are located across the pae ʻāina with beneficiaries being served on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi.

These are the first awards that OHA has announced since revamping its grants program with a goal of lowering funding application barriers to allow for increased community participation. The grants process has been streamlined to ease the burden on nonprofit partners, including reducing the number of eligibility requirements, simplifying the application process and focusing mandatory reporting to the most essential data elements.

“On behalf of all of our trustees, Iʻd like to mahalo our Grants staff for their tireless efforts in bringing continuous improvement to our process. We all realize just how hard these staff members work each day on behalf of our lāhui and we want them all to know how much they are appreciated,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey.

“It is not only our honor but our kuleana to work with these outstanding community nonprofits who are making a difference in the lives of our people. It is only by working together in a spirit of lōkahi and aloha that we can create maximum impact as we strive to better the lives of Native Hawaiians and raise a beloved lāhui.”

Nine nonprofits received more than $1.36 million in Kumuwaiwai Naʻauao-Educational Resource grants including:

  • Kanu o ka ʻĀina Learning ʻOhana has been awarded $137,328 for its Hawaiʻi Island project titled “Hoʻopili Mai,” a culturally grounded initiative for preschoolers and their families intended to reach Native Hawaiians in Waimea with a goal of increasing kindergarten readiness.
  • Nā Mamo Aloha ʻĀina O Honokōhau has been awarded $100,000 for its project titled “Kapaukua,” which aims to increase ʻāina-based ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi experiences for Native Hawaiian haumāna in grades PreK-12 in West Maui.
  • Hui Mākua O Ke Kula Kaiapuni O Kualapuʻu has been awarded $40,000 for its Molokaʻi based project titled “Ke Ao ʻŌlino – Era of Enlightenment,” intended to educate Native Hawaiian family members of students attending a Hawaiian immersion campus through a Hawaiian language and culture curriculum.
  • EA Ecoversity has been awarded $182,310 to serve beneficiaries on Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Oʻahu through its “Basic Hawaiian” project, a ground-breaking Hawaiian language program which will increase language and cultural proficiencies of Native Hawaiians.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hawaiʻi has been awarded $205,000 for its Oʻahu based project titled “Ka Ulu A’e o ka Na’auao,” which will provide culturally relevant educational support and career readiness training to Native Hawaiian youth from Nānākuli and Waiʻanae.
  • Maui Hui Mālama has been awarded $136,666 for its “Breaking Barriers and Creating Connections to Education, Careers, and Culture” project which will provide holistic educational services to support Native Hawaiian youth on Maui in overcoming barriers to a successful educational pathway.
  • Hoʻākeolapono Trades Academy and Institute has been awarded $258,700 for its Kauaʻi based “High School Trades Innovation Program” intended to educate Native Hawaiian students in grades 9-12 in the building trades industry to increase the Native Hawaiian graduation rate.
  • Hoʻokākoʻo Corporation has been awarded $100,000 for its Molokaʻi based project titled “Hoʻokahua,” intended to develop, expand and sustain Hawaiian language medium early education for Native Hawaiian children in kindergarten through second grade.
  • Keiki O Ka ʻĀina has been awarded $205,000 for its Oʻahu and Molokaʻi based project titled “Board and Stone, Strengthening Families and Equipping for the Future,” intended to educate and train Native Hawaiians in cultural foundations through Board and Stone class.

Five nonprofits received more than $939,000 in Ola Ka ʻĀina-Health of Land and Water grants including:

  • Hale Mua Cultural Group has been awarded $145,000 for its Hawaiʻi Island based project titled “ʻAi Me Ka Iʻa Waipiʻo,” intended to increase knowledge in traditional food systems stewardship by engaging Native Hawaiians in the intertwined practices of loʻi kalo and loko wai in Waipiʻo Valley.
  • Papahana Kuaola has been awarded $200,000 for its Oʻahu based project titled “Kupu A Lau,” intended to educate and engage Native Hawaiians in ʻāina restoration practices and principles at Waipao to increase community connection to ‘āina.
  • Maui Nui Makai Network has been awarded $200,000 for its project titled “Maui Hikina Huliāmahi,” an initiative intended to advance community-led marine management across four districts of East Maui spanning more than 60 miles of coastline.
  • Pōhāhā I Ka Lani has been awarded $200,000 for its Hawaiʻi Island Project titled “Kāhuli,” intended to enhance the stewardship of watersheds in and above Waipiʻo Valley, involving Native Hawaiians in removing invasive trees, planting native plants, and stabilizing 400 linear feet of slopes and riverbanks.
  • Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests has been awarded $194,717 for its Hawaiʻi based project titled “Kaiāulu Puʻuwaʻawaʻa,” intended to support the Kaiāulu Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Community-Based Subsistence Forest Area in stewarding and restoring 84 acres by connecting lineal descendants back to their ʻāina kūpuna, planting native species and increasing the number of Native Hawaiians participating in mālama ʻāina activities.

Two nonprofits received more than $401,000 in Hoʻomohala Waiwai ʻOhana Economic Stability grants including:

  • Laʻiʻōpua 2020 has been awarded $200,000 for its Hawaiʻi Island project titled “A‘o,” which will provide a trades skills training and certification program to Native Hawaiian adults that will result in an increase of certified workers and job placements.
  • The Men of PAʻA have been awarded $201, 226 for their Hawaiʻi Island project titled the “Mālama Puna Workforce Development Project” which aims to empower Native Hawaiian individuals from the Puna District, particularly those emerging from the justice system and their families, by providing comprehensive job training and financial literacy programs.
OHA’s Grants Program supports Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organizations that have projects, programs and initiatives that serve the lāhui in alignment with OHA’s Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan. For more on OHA’s Grants Program please visit www.oha.org/grants.

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