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Grieving Families Find H.O.P.E. in a Healing Journey with Liliʻuokalani Trust

Grieving Families Find H.O.P.E. in a Healing Journey with Liliʻuokalani Trust

In July, Liliʻuokalani Trust will host about a dozen families at the annual H.O.P.E. Camp on Hawaiʻi Island.

H.O.P.E., an acronym for “Helping Our People Emerge,” is a compassionate program that supports kamaliʻi and their ʻohana (families), who are navigating the grieving process after the loss of a parent.

The Trust is dedicated to nurturing the most vulnerable children of Hawaiian ancestry. Queen Liliʻuokalani’s legacy was to support kamaliʻi through trials by providing the necessary resources to survive and thrive.

“Our hope for families who attend camp is that they feel supported in their grief journey,” says Kamala Yogi, a Social Worker at the Trust. “This aligns with Wehe Ke Ala, the 2045 strategic vision of Liliʻuokalani Trust, as this camp is Hawaiian-culture based and provides trauma-informed social emotional supports.”  

Initiatives like H.O.P.E. Camp provide a safe place for healing to unfold in a culturally grounded environment. Participants embrace the collective feeling of grief, or kaumaha, by sharing their moʻolelo (stories), and immersing in mele (music) and oli (chants).  H.O.P.E. Camp is part of a greater initiative across the pae ʻāina (lands) to uplift grieving families and their children, who are beneficiaries of the Trust.

Another component of the program is the H.O.P.E. Statewide Signature, where participants gather monthly on Zoom for ʻohana activities and healing practices. Centered around the theme, “ʻO ʻoe kuʻu lama,” (Light and Legacy), the virtual program guides them through several phases. One is “Connection” to help them find grounding, and another is “Continuation” to help them embrace the future.

Families say they are grateful for the supportive network. “I just wanna say that this group is so amazing and welcoming. I just love the energy and positivity everyone has, and the mana (energy) in this group is so powerful to me,” says a participant. The group has taught this individual how to have an open mindset, knowing that many families are struggling and needing support.

Additionally, some families in the H.O.P.E. group also participate in H.O.P.E. Mālama ʻĀina, a program that invites them to immerse outdoors. Founded on Hawaiian culture, it follows the belief that nurturing the land, or ʻāina, helps individuals to heal spiritually.

Since January 2024, H.O.P.E. statewide signature sessions have drawn close to 20 families.

The families have shared that they are feeling more supported, comfortable, and positive about their futures. “The more my family and I attend, the more it all comes together and makes sense inside,” says a hopeful participant.

For more information about H.O.P.E., please call the Mālama Line at Liliʻuokalani Trust.