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OHA Awards $1.77M in COVID Response Grants

OHA News Release

Programs helping to mitigate learning struggles endured by young learners during the pandemic, provide psychiatric services to Native Hawaiians and provide food to vulnerable Native Hawaiian communities are among the grant awardees announced today by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

A total of 15 Hawaii nonprofit organizations on five islands will receive a total of $1.77 million in grant awards through OHA’s COVID-19 Impact and Response Grants. The grant program is being offered for the first time to help the community address the multiple impacts of the global pandemic.

On Molokai, KUPU was awarded $55,042 for its “Conservation Leadership Development Program” to provide employment opportunities for early and developing professionals (17 years or older) who want to commit to a career in conservation.

“COVID-19 and the resulting global pandemic has had negative effects on the Native Hawaiian community in the areas of education, health, housing and economics – areas that we at OHA specifically focus on. It is our hope that by working with our community partners we can have an impact on mitigating some of those effects,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey.

The OHA Board of Trustees also approved $537,739 in Kulia Grants to be awarded to six local nonprofits. The Kulia Grant program is OHA’s most broad-based grant program, and awards include projects that will offer cultural learning opportunities, a homestead program in Anahola that will nurture ‘Oiwi leaders, and a project that will help preserve and revive the traditional healing art of lāʻau lapaʻau.

Another new grant stream approved by trustees is the $175,000 Native Hawaiian Teacher Education and Professional Development Grant.

These grants are 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 more than $3 million in ʻAhahui event, Iwi Kupuna and Repatriation, Homestead, and ʻOhana and Community Program grants statewide to advance its strategic directions in the areas of education, health, housing and economic stability.


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