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What We Do

Pathways to a Brighter Future

The unwavering mission of Queen Lili‘uokalani — to ensure the wellbeing of Hawaiian children and ‘ohana — is the guiding light for our work at Lili‘uokalani Trust. For the most disadvantaged of these children, however, persistent poverty blocks access to the kind of existence they, and future generations of kamali‘i (beneficiaries), deserve.

Our commitment is to change that — to carry out the Queen’s intention on a scale that will permanently improve the lives of all Hawaiian children and build pathways to their self-empowerment. As a self-funded independent trust, we have the opportunity — and, more than that, the responsibility — to take on one of the most fundamental challenges our community faces: ending the cycle of poverty for Hawaiian children and families.

We believe that lasting solutions will come from addressing the root causes of poverty and stimulating change across the entire system. After all, it’s not the children we’re trying to fix; it’s the system that hinders their progress. That kind of transformation calls on us as an organization and as individuals to take risks, innovate, and commit fully. We are tapping into our collective wisdom and investing in high-impact programs, research, and advocacy to realize our vision of thriving Hawaiian children. 

Child & Family Kīpuka Programs & Services

Liliʻuokalani Trust provides an array of child and family services at each of our Kīpuka (children's centers) located throughout the islands. Kīpuka, literally a calm place in a high sea or oasis within a lava bed, metaphorically represents a safe place that supports the learning, growth, healing, and thriving that we envision for our kamaliʻi (trust beneficiaries).

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT:  Our pathway programs in the arts, sports, ‘āina, creative media, and entrepreneurship give kamali‘i a chance to discover their talents along with a sense of value and purpose. These opportunities boost self-confidence and instill leadership and resilience among youth.

PUA LILI‘U CASE MANAGEMENT:  Case managers assist kamali‘i and their ‘ohana in identifying their strengths and needs, charting a plan, and finding resources and services to achieve self-determination and improved personal wellbeing.

COUNSELING:  Counselors provide therapeutic support to kamali‘i and their ‘ohana fora limited time to address their social and emotional needs, such as resolving conflict and maintaining healthy relationships.

‘OHANA STRENGTHENING:  The ‘ohana is a critical part of a child’s life. We offer services that help strengthen ‘ohana, including caregiver support groups, culturally-based parenting classes, and family communication workshops.

GRIEF, LOSS & TRAUMA SUPPORT:  Focused on building emotional strength and positive Hawaiian culture-based coping strategies for grieving kamali‘i and their families, program activities include therapeutic group services, enrichment activities, and cultural activities.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY:  Through financial coaching, financial literacy classes, and emergency stabilization funds (as appropriate), we assist families in building financial self-sufficiency and improving their educational, vocational and entrepreneurial skills.

‘ĀINA EDUCATION PROGRAMS:  We offer ‘āina-based service projects focused on the Keahuolū ahupua‘a in north Kona. Participants have the opportunity to propagate native plants, restore native landscapes, monitor marine species, and  re-establish traditional practices. We also provide an ‘ohana-oriented camping experience and educational tours. Ma ka hana ka ‘ike. In working one learns.        (‘Ōlelo No‘eau #2088)


Systems Change

Through research, education, and public-private partnerships, we focus on promoting systems-level policies, procedures, and practices that work to increase equitable outcomes for Hawaiian children, families and community. Current areas of emphasis include juvenile justice, child welfare, truancy and workforce development.

Community Change Initiatives

We collaborate with the community to solve large complex problems. Continuing to build on a long history of community work, we support communities as they understand the issues they face; leverage and seek out resources; and build relationships that engage new voices and perspectives.