Program aims to address barriers to recovery for Maui’s Filipino community post-wildfires
Hawai‘i Community Foundation and grassroots organization Tagnawa announced funding support committed to redefining disaster response for Lahaina’s Filipino community affected by the Maui wildfires.
The $150,000 grant from the Maui Strong Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation will support Tagnawa in establishing a Filipino values-based approach to serve Filipinos affected by the Maui fires crisis.
The program will:
- Conduct mass needs assessment
- Facilitate financial resource assistance enrollment at hotel and hubs sites
- Alert Filipino survivors to existing assistance programs and new forms of aid as they emerge, including needs for collective advocacy
- Serve as the bridge between non-Filipino organizations and Filipino immigrants
- Secure a paid volunteer coordinator and train and pay stipends to Filipino volunteers
- Educate partners on Filipino specific needs and strengths
- Implement cultural restoring forms of mental health care and recovery, and more.
Filipinos are a significant immigrant population on Maui, making up 40% of residents in Lahaina, according to Tagnawa. Tagnawa, in operation since the crisis began, with the fiscal sponsor Hawai‘i Workers Center, has been using an Ilokano and Tagalog team to translate key information to survivors in collaboration with the all-immigrant umbrella group, Roots Reborn.
Tagnawa has led the only on-the-ground and Filipino-specific needs assessment and financial assistance campaign at hotels and community hubs, having served 800 survivors experiencing displacement from their homes and job loss.
“Filipino residents are an important part of the beautiful, diverse community in Lahaina—and they are also one of the core backbone communities of its workforce,” said Micah Kāne, chief executive officer and president of HCF. “We are proud to partner with Tagnawa and the incredible network of organizations they partner with to meet the needs of this community with a cultural, values-aligned approach, and with a long-term view that Filipino residents can remain on Maui.”
Partners for this initiative include Mauna Medic Healers Hui, ‘Āina Momona, Help Maui Rise, Chef Hui, LAING Hawai‘i, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Our Hawai‘i, Filipino Mental Health Initiative, and Kīpuka Maui.
“Tagnawa is deeply grateful for the support provided through the generous grant from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation,” says Tagnawa volunteer Nadezna Ortega. “This funding empowers us to continue our crucial work in addressing the diverse and pressing needs of our Filipino community following the Maui wildfires.”
Sergio Alcubilla, executive director of the Hawaiʻi Workers Center, said, “The Hawaiʻi Workers Center is proud to serve as fiscal sponsor for Tagnawa through this generous grant from the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Tagnawa for Maui has done an incredible job through its grassroots efforts of reaching our Filipino community impacted by the fires, and we look forward to continuing to work together in helping the community rebuild. We thank the donors from around the world for their generosity in supporting the Maui Strong Fund of HCF that allows us to do the important work ahead.”
The grant was made possible by donations to the Maui Strong Fund. As of Nov. 27, HCF has awarded $33,970,218 to 147 partners working to meet the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected by the Maui fires.
The Maui Strong Fund webpage, includes all partners that have received Maui Strong Fund grant awards, the day the grant was approved, the amount granted, and the work each partner is doing on Maui.
HCF has a unique role in disaster preparedness and response. The organization collaborates with partners, both inside and outside philanthropy, for a coordinated effort to secure maximum community impact. HCF has demonstrated its ability to raise funds quickly—and deploy grants rapidly to community organizations that are at the heart of emergency response efforts.
For nonprofit organizations seeking funding from the Maui Strong Fund, please visit the HCF website here for detailed instructions on how to apply for a grant from the Maui Strong Fund.
- For donations to the Maui Strong Fund at HCF, visit: https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong.
- For more information about Tagnawa and its initiatives, email [email protected].