Grant Awarded to Nonprofit Will Expand Training to Stop Child Sex Trafficking

February 11, 2020, 1:19 PM HST (Updated February 11, 2020, 1:19 PM)
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The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i in Honolulu presented a $50,000 grant to a nonprofit group to assist in their efforts to combat child sex trafficking.

The grant, provided through the chamber’s Public Health Fund (PHF), will allow Hoʻōla Nā Pua to expand trainings that will help educators and students identify and intervene in child sex trafficking.

“For more than a century, the Chamber’s Public Health Fund has supported community efforts to address some of our state’s most pressing issues,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i President and CEO said. “We’re pleased that this funding will sustain and grow Ho`ōla Nā Pua’s efforts help teachers and other individuals who work directly with our keiki to stop exploitation and assist survivors.”

Hoʻōla Nā Pua is a nonprofit organization aimed at helping children who have been victims of sex trafficking. Their mission is to offer new life through a comprehensive therapeutic campus for the vulnerable population of children who have been sex trafficked.

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The group is an active member of the Hawai‘i Coalition Against Human Trafficking Task Force. Currently, Hoʻōla Nā Pua is the only organization working to build a long-term licensed residential facility of this kind in Hawai‘i.

“One in four people who participated in a recent survey in Hawai‘i, reported being a victim of sex trafficking—this is unacceptable,” Mea Aloha Spady, Ho`ōla Nā Pua Director of Advancement said. “Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i and the Public Health Fund, Hoʻōla Nā Pua will be able to expand teacher training to identify signs of exploitation and protect our keiki.”

Since 2013, Hoʻōla Nā Pua has provided education and training on child sex trafficking prevention to more than 16,000 individuals. The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i grant will allow them to build on this momentum to reach more educators, students and other individuals.

Through the PHF, the Chamber provides grants to nonprofit organizations on O‘ahu that are implementing meaningful public health education and research projects, with a preference for projects that require collaborative effort and for which funds are not available from other sources.

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