Aloha from the Pūʻā foundation ohana

Who We Are:

The Pūʻā Foundation was created out of an apology, redress and reconciliation initiative of the United Church of Christ for its complicity in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Government.  The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1996.


Our Vision:

Our vision is through pū’ā, the process of feeding, nourishing, and strengthening, there will be the emergence of enlightened communities and society.  To help in the passing from one to another generation the nourishment of our ancestral dignity from which we revitalize our national consciousness.  Through such acts of humanity, new life springs forth.  So shall it be with the Hawaiian people. 


Our Mission:

Our mission is to actively engage, facilitate and serve communities and their efforts to build a resilient society and improve upon their quality of life through healing and reconciliation efforts that address consequences of the 1893 overthrow.  

Note: we consider the over-representation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system as an example of such a consequence.  We believe there is a correlation of imprisonment rates and historical, community and individual trauma and thus a primary focus is to support families affected by trauma and incarceration, especially justice-involved women.


Our Focus:

We engage in community organizing, capacity building and training, connecting resources to need in an aligned, strategic and comprehensive way striving to reduce recidivism and end the over-representation of Native Hawaiian women incarcerated.


Our Motto:



Our Partners & Working Collaborators:
Government Dept. of Public Safety – Re-entry Coordination Office, Re-entry Commission, Women’s Community Correctional Center, Hawaii Paroling Authority; Federal Detention Center; Dept. of Human Services, Dept. of Health – For Hawaii Certified Peer Specialists Training; Hawaii Youth Correctional Center – Kawailoa Wellness Center, Office for Youth Services, Judiciary Family Court – Girls Court, Papa Hoike Kuleana Accountability Project
Faith-Based United Church of Christ, State Council of Hawaiian Congregational Churches, Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, Office for Social Ministry, Prison Ministry; Maryknoll Sisters & Affiliates, St. Francis Sisters, St. Ann’s, Mary Star of the Sea, & Mystical Rose Chapel, Marianist Center of Hawaii, Lay Marianist Community
Non-Profits/Other Oahu Going Home Consortium, First LAP, HOPE Services, Women In Need, YMCA, YWCA, WCCC Resource Fair Participants: Oxford House, Keiki o Ka Aina, Liliuokalani Trust, Betsy’s Place, Waikiki Health Center, Habilitat, Ke Ola Mamo, PACT, Salvation Army
Academia Chaminade University – Campus Ministry, Kapiolani Community College – Community Health Worker Program


Pūʻā Foundation – Hawaii Business Magazine

Transformation from Trauma, Hawaii Business Magazine, May 4, 2018

Final-jpegTransformation from Trauma - Hawaii News Magazine Article”

  • 1996 to 1999 – Established as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 1996; Board of Directors operated as a Volunteer Board and focused on: 1) assets administration; 2) vision and purpose; and 3) program development (Sovereignty, Prison, Community Support/Grants).
  • 2000 to 2007 – The Executive Director was hired in 2000 and focused on: formal development, adoption, and implementation of administrative and programmatic plans, policies and procedures. Three programs were developed: 1) Community Support/Grants; 2) Training and Technical Assistance; and 3) Forum/Dialogue.
  • 2008 to 2012 – Programming was updated with the discontinuation of the community support/grants and training and technical assistance programs and a transition into: 1) Research Development, 2) Product Development, and 3) Updated Forum/Dialogue was initiated. These projects: Hawaiian Historical Production Project; Huliau/Trauma Informed Care Initiative (TICI); and Nā Leo o Ke Ola, were part of each of the program categories.  In 2011, the Ua Mau Ke Ea Community Educational materials, a textbook and DVDs were developed.  Pūʻā was part of the leadership team for the TICI at the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC), and Pūʻā was asked to lead the TICI at Family Court and Office for Youth Services (OYS) for the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, Kapolei Detention Center, and Home Maluhia Shelter.
    • 2011 – Published Ua Mau Ke Ea Textbook & DVDs – visit our SHOP
    • 2012 – WCCC – TICI with Pilot Study
    • 2012 – Hawaiian Lecture Series Course began at WCCC using Ua Mau Ke Ea resources (now known as Cultural Healing & Well-being Course).
    • 2012 – Oahu Going Home Consortium – Pūʻā Foundation began facilitating meetings and coordinating community organizing activities.
    • 2013 – Family Court / OYS – TICI
  • 2013 to present – Continued to refine Program Categories; Trauma, Healing, and Justice – “Trauma to Transformation; Incarceration to Independence” and work with justice-involved women, girls and their families.
    • 2013 – Women Supporting Women Gathering
    • 2014 – Women Supporting Women – 1st Annual Fundraiser
    • 2014 – PreTransition Course began at WCCC
    • 2015 – National Girls Initiative Innovation Awardee for Girls  Project, partnered w/Girls Court
    • 2015 – Women Supporting Women – 2nd Annual Fundraiser
    • 2016 – Women Supporting Women – 3rd Annual Fundraiser 
    • 2016 – Mercy House – Women’s Transitional Home Opens 
    • 2016 – PreTransition Course began at Federal Detention Center
    • 2017 – Mana Wahine Ekahi (Female Empowerment Gathering – held at Aulani)
    • 2017 – Women Supporting Women – 4th Annual Fundraiser
    • 2017 – Waimanalo Community Farming Project – planting begins
    • 2018 – Mana Wahine Elua (Female Empowerment Gathering – held at Aulani)
    • 2018-Ekolu Mea Nui – community fundraiser for Pūʻā – replaced Women Supporting Women fundraiser
    • 2019 – Certified Peer Support Training begins
    • 2020 – COVID-19 – Challenging Year for All 
    • 2021 – Celebrating 25 years of community service – Pay It Forward – Starting the Mana Wahine Fund