Kalaupapa Month

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

January is Kalaupapa Month.

Two years ago, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa proposed designating January as Kalaupapa Month to the Hawaii State Legislature which gave the bill unanimous approval. Governor David Ige signed the legislation into law.

Ka ‘Ohana President Charmaine Woodward, whose great-grandparents are buried at Kalaupapa, sees Kalaupapa Month as a “time of remembrance and celebration — it is the time we celebrate their lives, their legacy, and their love. By overcoming adversity, the people of Kalaupapa guide us on how to traverse difficult situations by portraying characteristics of unconditional love, true faith, and family.”

January was selected as the month to especially pay tribute to the people of Kalaupapa and to learn more about the history. A number of important events occurred in January throughout the settlement’s history — including January 6, 1866, when the first 12 people affected by leprosy were sent to the peninsula. They were the first of nearly 8,000.

Other significant dates include the births of both Josef DeVeuster (later Father Damien, now Saint Damien), Barbara Koob (later Mother Marianne Cope, now Saint Marianne) and the day in 1978 that began a five year protest led by the people of Kalaupapa and Hale Mohalu when they stood up for their rights to be included in decisions.

For January 2024, Ka ‘Ohana will be hosting two webinars and distributing essays about the people associated with the various key dates. Anyone can sign up to attend the webinars and receive the essays at no charge by sending an email to info.kalaupapa@gmail.com

Both webinars are narrated slide shows featuring historical and modern-day photos. A webinar about how the Kalaupapa residents inspired organizing Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa and how they have led the effort to establish the Kalaupapa Memorial will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, 10-11:30 a.m.

Another webinar on Saturday, Jan. 27, 10-11:30 a.m., will take an in-depth look at the powerful Save Hale Mohalu Movement. This webinar includes 40-year-old television clips of when residents and supporters were arrested along with quotes from residents taken from interviews about why they took a stand.

Essays will be distributed electronically throughout January.

In addition, a Kalaupapa Month brochure featuring information on the various dates and suggestions of ways to remember Kalaupapa in January can be on the ‘Ohana
website kalaupapaohana.org.
Kalaupapa Month is also a great time to visit an award-winning photo exhibit about Kalaupapa that continues to be displayed at The Molokai Museum and Cultural Center. The exhibit, produced by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, features 100 framed photos of Kalaupapa residents and their family members along with landscapes of the peninsula. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is $5, $1 for ages 5-18.


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