A partnership to assist exploited children in Hawaii has been launched by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Ho’ōla Nā Pua (New Life for Our Children). The Church has given the nonprofit organization a $400,000 donation to support the Bromley Family Pearl Haven Campus, the first licensed residential treatment center in Hawaii for youth 11 to 17 years of age who have been sexually exploited. The donation will support the center’s specialized clinical and therapeutic service programs.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ partnership with Ho’ōla Nā Pua addresses one of our core missions, which is caring for those in need," said Elder Voi Taeoalii, an Area Seventy. “Contributing with other charitable donors to provide our children and young adults compassionate and specialized care is a great blessing for all.”
“Pearl Haven has been built by the generosity of a courageous global community of partners, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who believe in the importance of protecting a child’s innocence while advocating for their bright futures. This extraordinary and generous gift from the Church made it possible for Ho’ōla Nā Pua to finish the Phase One renovation of the Pearl Haven Campus,” said Jessica Muñoz, founder and president of Ho’ōla Nā Pua. “Together, we are creating bright futures for the youth of Hawaii.”
In addition to financial support, Latter-day Saint volunteers have been working to support the Pearl Haven landscape installation and assembly of interior furnishings for the much-anticipated campus, set to receive its first residents in April. About 35 volunteers joined the landscape crew on March 31, 2021.
“I have been so impressed with the way that Ho’ōla Nā Pua has become part of the North Shore community,” expressed Vonn Logan, Welfare and Self-Reliance Services manager in Hawaii. “Families support their efforts by committing to ongoing service on the grounds and facilities. All of those working hands nurture hearts that bless us all.”
According to Ho’ōla Nā Pua, the average age of a child first trafficked is 11 years old, and more than 23% of victims are trafficked before their 18th birthday. In addition, 64% of the exploited youth in the islands are Native Hawaiian.
Since 2013, Ho’ōla Nā Pua has been committed to education, delivering presentations on exploitation warning signs to over 10,000 students, teachers and working professionals. It currently reaches over 70 youth every week through its Hoku Groups and Starfish Mentoring programs.
Ho’ōla Nā Pua was founded as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) to aid in the prevention of child sex trafficking and provide a continuum of care for children who have been exploited. The organization offers integrated programming that reaches thousands of youth, community members and stakeholders across Hawaii every year. For those seeking help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 (United States).
Press release from Newsroom.
Featured image: A visit to the Bromley Family Pearl Haven Campus in Hawaii, April 2021. Pictured left to right: Wailana Kamauu, Coordinating Councils communication director; Kathy Kamauu, Coordinating Councils JustServe specialist; Kevin Schlag, Laie Hawaii North Stake president; Mufi Hannemann, Coordinating Councils communication media specialist; Jessica Muñoz, Ho'ōla Nā Pua president; Elder and Sister (Ronette) Voi Taeoalii, Area Seventy; and Vonn Logan, Welfare and Self-Reliance Services manager. Credit: Ho’ōla Nā Pua