Maui News

OHA Awards $1.25M in ‘Ohana & Community Program Grants to 14 Nonprofits

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File Photo Courtesy: OHA

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs granted awards totaling $1.25 million that will support the Native Hawaiian community through its new ‘Ohana and Community Program Grants. A total of 14 nonprofit organizations on Hawaiʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi will receive funding intended to help reinforce and strengthen Native Hawaiians’ ‘ohana (family), moʻomeheu (culture) and ʻāina (land). 

With a $124,000 OHA grant award, the Adult Friends for Youth will establish a Mobile Assessment Center in Waiʻanae and ʻEwa to help divert youth who commit status offenses from entering the juvenile justice system. The program employs a non-directive method that has been proven to be effective with Hawaiʻi’s highest risk youth. Services will improve the wellbeing of youth and their ‘ohana and create safer schools and communities.  

Other projects that were awarded grants include the restoration of dryland native forests in Kawaihae on Hawaiʻi, a substance abuse treatment program on Maui, a program that uplifts ʻohana by restoring access to lāʻau lapaʻau and lomilomi (traditional healing methods) on Oʻahu, and an ʻāina-based education program on Kauaʻi.  


“It is our belief that we can best address the disparities that Native Hawaiians face today by focusing on supporting and building on the foundational strengths of our culture. We recognize that these foundations have the power to affect the wellbeing of Native Hawaiians and we are very proud to partner with these community organizations who share our goals and objectives in moving the lāhui forward,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. 

The purpose of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Grants Program is to support Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organizations that have projects, programs, and initiatives that serve our Native Hawaiian lāhui in alignment with the strategic foundations, directions and outcomes of OHAʻs Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan.  

This new grant is a part of OHAʻs effort to increase its total community investment to benefit Native Hawaiians and the larger community. So far in 2021, OHA has awarded $1,838,632 in ʻAhahui event, Iwi Kupuna & Repatriation and Homestead grants statewide to advance its strategic directions in the areas of education, health, housing and economic stability. Read OHA’s 15-year Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan here


The ʻOhana and Community Program Grant awardees are:  


  • Maui Family Support Services, Inc., is awarded $150,000 for their “Ho‘owaiwai Kaiāulu Project” to provide a continuum of programs to strengthen the physical and mental wellbeing of Native Hawaiian ‘ohana and keiki, increase their social and emotional competence, and improve ‘ohana strengths and resilience. 
  • Malama Na Makua A Keiki, Inc., is awarded $75,000 for their “Family Centered Substance Abuse Treatment Program” to provide substance abuse treatment and surrounding support services to 60 Native Hawaiian women and children to achieve a significant reduction in substance use. 
  • Hāna Arts is awarded $26,493 for their “Empowering East Maui Youth through Arts and Culture Education” to empower East Maui youth through arts/culture by hosting classes, workshops and events that enhance education, confidence and quality of life for this mostly Hawaiian demographic. 


  • Maui Family Support Services, Inc., is awarded $41,199 for their “Ho‘owaiwai Kaiāulu Project – Moloka‘i” to provide a continuum of programs to strengthen the physical and mental wellbeing of Native Hawaiian ‘ohana and keiki, to increase their social and emotional competence, and improve ‘ohana strengths and resilience. 

Hawaiʻi Island

  • Five Mountains Hawaiʻi dba Kipuka o ke Ola is awarded $105,000 for the “Ulu Laukahi Project – Traditional Healing Practices for Pain Management” to provide culturally appropriate traditional healing methodologies to Native Hawaiians suffering from pain that often accompanies diabetes, obesity and hypertension. 
  • The Kohala Center, Inc., is awarded $150,000 for “Ho‘olauna Kawaihae: Building Pilina Through Respectful Engagement” to research, learn and assess a set of ho‘olauna practices to engage respectfully in Hawaiian restoration of our dryland native forests as a Kawaihae-stewarded community. 
  • Pōhāhā I Ka Lani is awarded $149,949 for “Liko No Ka Lama” to connect Native Hawaiian families with ‘āina stewardship and cultural education designed to increase social and emotional competence of ‘ohana and keiki.
  • Big Island Substance Abuse Council is awarded $31,168 for the “Therapeutic Living Re-Entry Program” to provide therapeutic living treatment to adults previously incarcerated with the intention of providing wraparound services to support client’s continued sobriety. 


  • Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services is awarded $144,237 for “La‘au Ku Makani” to uplift ‘ohana Hawai’i by restoring access to lāʻau lapaʻau and lomilomi. Growing community mauliola by connecting to ʻāina through forestry, providing education and care services, and expanding training for health practitioners. 
  • Adult Friends for Youth is awarded $124,722 for their “Mobile Assessment Center” to divert youth who commit status offenses in HPD District 8 (Waiʻanae/ʻEwa) from entering the juvenile justice system. Services improve the wellbeing of youth and their ‘ohana and create safer schools and communities.
  • Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture is awarded $123,541 for their “Kupu Ola Enhancement” to provide culture-based learning activities to Native Hawaiian students and families on the Wai‘anae Coast to further increase cultural grounding, parent engagement, sense of identity and academic achievement. 


  • Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is awarded $56,254 for their Kahili Beach Preserve ʻĀina-Based Education Program to support HILT’s strategic goal of welcoming schools, community groups, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, lineal descendants, visitors and learners of all ages to deepen their connection to ʻāina on HILT lands. 
  • Alu Like, Inc., is awarded $61,446 for their “Project EA (Educational Assistant)” to provide Educational Assistance training to kumu and mākua of haumāna attending Ke Kula Ni‘ihau O Kekaha Learning Center to help increase literacy and digital media skills in their students. 
  • Hanalei River Heritage Foundation is awarded $9,199 for their “O Wailua Kuʻu Kulaiwi” to provide Hawaiian language and culture classes to Hawaiian families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to build resilience to overcome adversity. 

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