WASHINGTON – Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, this week announced FY 2018 funding support for the We are Oceania (WAO) Hālau Ola One Stop Center in Hawai’i. The One Stop Center 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).
“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,” said Domenech. “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.”
“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,” said OIA Director Nik Pula. “We would encourage other partners to step forward in providing assistance to this very impactful organization.”
We are Oceania Hālau Ola – One Stop Center – $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. 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.