OHA resumes awarding nonprofit grants
By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer
Money from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has begun to flow again to nonprofit organizations with the announcement of nearly $700,000 in grants to groups serving social service needs among Native Hawaiians, including programs promoting literacy, health and cultural practices.
OHA trustees released the money last week, restarting a grants program that had been suspended in 2001 because of a conflict in the state procurement law that gives only state legislators the authority to issue grants of state money.
The following year, Legislature enacted a waiver from the state procurement laws, enabling OHA to pay out grants approved before the suspension. The current allotment, totalling $696,785 to 23 groups, is the first set of grant requests reviewed and approved since the suspension was lifted.
Under the reinstated program rules, OHA trustees must approve grants greater than $25,000; smaller grants need the OHA administrator's clearance but need not go before the board.
Trustees approved nine major grants:
- $49,981 for Akaku: Maui Community Television to expand public access service for Hawaiians at its Moloka'i Media Center.
- $50,000 to renovate Kalaniana'ole Hall on Moloka'i, used by Halau o Kawananakoa, Helu 'Elima.
- $26,725 for the Hau'ula Community Health Center to support youth health education, leadership and peer support.
- $50,000 to assist Moe Aku Productions in making a documentary on navigator Mau Piailug and his contributions to restoring Hawaiian seafaring traditions.
- $41,255 for Keaukaha Elementary School's literacy tutorial program.
- $50,000 for Keola Laulima o Leikula, providing transportation services for the elderly and disadvantaged on the Big Island.
- $45,544 for the Kapahu Living Farm traditional agricultural project at Kipahulu, Maui.
- $50,000 to support the Mobile Care Health Project, a dental program for the Big Island uninsured rural poor and homeless.
- $50,000 for University of Hawai'i-Kua'ana Native Hawaiian Student Development Services, supporting a literacy tutoring program.
Recipients of the smaller grants, totalling $283,280, include: the Life Foundation's Hawaiian HIV Program; the planners of a Hilo hula conference; a cultural education program for Ko'ie'ielokoi'a, fish pond on Maui; the Native Hawaiian Health Subsidy Project; and Liliko Ka Pua, a program to perpetuate traditional cultural practices.
Reach Vicki Viotti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8053.