Funding support of $250,000 for ‘We are Oceania Program’

U.S. Department of the Interior has announced FY 2018 funding support for ‘We are Oceania (WAO) Hālau Ola’-One Stop Center in Hawai’i which provides information and services to migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau (Palau), also known as the freely associated states (FAS).

$250,000 is provided for the We are Oceania program that has helped more than 5,600 individuals in Hawai’i who have sought assistance in the areas of health, education, employment, child welfare services, legal, public assistance, housing, social security, taxes, and more.

Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech said, “We are now in the fourth year of this Office of Insular Affairs initiative to support the governments of Hawai’i and Guam, as they struggle with costs related to serving FAS migrants. We would like to see We are Oceania become its own self-sufficient 501(c)(3) program so that it may continue on its own to serve and strengthen Micronesian families in Hawai’i into the future.”

OIA Director, Nik Pula said, “The One Stop Center initiative, an idea first put forth by Micronesian community leaders as a way to help Micronesians in Hawai’i has received wide-ranging support from within the community. We would encourage other partners to step forward in providing assistance to this very impactful organization.”

FY2018 funds are to be used to provide continued services and to help WAO transition to 501(c)(3) status, build internal organizational capacity, and cultivate partnerships with FAS governments and organizations in the islands. Funding for WAO is provided through the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program to the Partners in Development Foundation in Hawai’i.

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