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Liliʻuokalani Trust provides opportunities for Native Hawaiian children

Liliʻuokalani Trust provides opportunities for Native Hawaiian children

Sponsored by Lili’uokalani Trust

Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT) was established in 1909 by Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani, for the benefit of orphan and destitute children with preference given to Native Hawaiian children. The Queen’s legacy is perpetuated through Liliʻuokalani Trust’s land assets and private investments.

LT’s vision is simple – e nā kamalei lupalupa – Thriving Hawaiian Children. Its mission is to provide opportunities for Hawaiian children to realize their greatest potential, living healthy, joyful and prosperous lives, contributing positively to their families, our communities and the world.

In 2015, after assessing the research and data, its trustees recognized that Native Hawaiians are over-represented in State systems, including foster care, juvenile justice and homelessness.

For the past decade, Native Hawaiian children have accounted for 46 percent of all foster children in child welfare services, and 44 percent of children in detention centers. These trends result in a higher risk of homelessness where Native Hawaiian children and families make up 51 percent of the total homeless population.

“These trends resulted in our decision to narrow our focus and expand services to break the cycle of poverty for Hawaii’s most disadvantaged and destitute children,” says Dawn Harflinger with Lili’uokalani Trust. “For the past 5 years, we have built a strong foundation and team that will demonstrate innovative and modern solutions to breaking the cycle of poverty for Hawaii’s most vulnerable Hawaiian children.”

Lili’uokalani Trust has expanded its services from being solely a social services organization to offering a continuum of care for ages 0-26, including: Youth development programs that inspire children to dream of futures outside of poverty and to build their skills; stronger social services that are based in clinical interventions and can address the social, emotional and behavioral issues that are common when living in poverty.
“When we inspire our children to dream of futures outside of poverty and provide them with opportunities to thrive, we see amazing transformations in their lives and who they become,” Harflinger says. “We hope to see our Hawaiian children and families reconnect with their identities as Hawaiian people, and to heal cultural trauma so that we see more thriving communities across our state.”

About Dawn Harflinger:
Dawn Harflinger is Liliʻuokalani Trust’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She was raised in Waianae, attended Pacific University earning degrees in Business and English, and later earned her CFA certification. She joined the trust in 2005 and has helped to grow its assets significantly over the past 15 years, providing the opportunity to expand services toward breaking the cycle of poverty for Hawaii’s most vulnerable Hawaiian children, and ensuring that Queen Liliʻuokalani’s legacy continues in perpetuity.

For more information: onipaa.org.