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Kalaupapa Nonprofit Earns Awards

Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa was presented with two Preservation Awards by the Historic Hawaii Foundation at their annual awards banquet in Honolulu last month.

One of the projects cited was the exhibit, “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future” that features 100 photographs and quotes from the people of Kalaupapa and their families. The exhibit is currently on display at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kalae.

The `Ohana was also recognized for “The Restoration of Family Ties” program that has helped hundreds of families obtain more information about their Kalaupapa ancestors who were sent there because of government policies regarding leprosy or who were kama`aina prior to the establishment of the settlement in 1866.

“We are so proud of this photo exhibit and our program to help the descendants learn about their family who was here,” said `Ohana President Clarence “Boogie” Kahilhiwa. “It’s an honor to have Historic Hawai`i Foundation recognize the importance of the work of Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa in reaching out to the families and all of Hawaii about the history of Kalaupapa.”

The photo exhibit has been displayed on the six main islands of Hawaii, providing an opportunity for residents, students and visitors to get a deeper understanding of the people of Kalaupapa and their families throughout the history of the settlement. From 1866 to 1969, an estimated 8,000 people affected by leprosy (also called Hansen’s disease) were taken from their families and isolated at Kalaupapa.

Noelani Keliikipi, Executive Director of the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center, said the exhibit has been one of the most popular events it has ever hosted.

“Everyone is so impressed with this exhibit,” she said. “Some people are even coming back to see it again.”

Visitors to the exhibit are given a free gallery guide that includes more background about Kalaupapa, a timeline of the history and photographs.  They are also invited to watch a five-minute video, “The Pride of a Nation,” produced by the `Ohana as an introduction to the people of Kalaupapa and the exhibit.

The Molokai Museum and Cultural Center is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 567-6436.

To reach more families through “The Restoration of Family Ties” program, leaders of Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa have gone out to communities on all the six islands with presentations. Families are also welcome to contact the `Ohana at info@kalaupapaohana.org to obtain information available in the digital library assembled by the `Ohana.

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