Waipahu Safe Haven Immigrant Resource Center

August 2017

Awesome Foundation Oahu is pleased to announce our August 2017 receipient of $1,000 to The Waipahu Safe Haven Immigrant Resource Center.  AF Oahu was contacted by Barbara Tom, a retired Dept. of Health Nurse who developed the community center in 2010.  Mrs. Tom describes the center is located in a Weed & Seed Office on Pupupuhi Street in a Hawaii Housing Apartment building which they have transformed into a holistic center servicing students from k-12 in afterschool tutorials, Adult education for many of The Compact of Free Association (COFA) community adults who they then help with job readiness skills. 

The Waipahu Safe Haven Immigrant Resource Center has developed two Steering committees (Chuukese and Marshallese) from our adult education classes, who provide guidance in the types of resource and education they'd like for their community. An example of this, was the Chuukese Culture and Language classes which are provided on Saturdays for the Chuukese students who are losing their language. The classes are being provided with the guidance of the Leeward District ELL supervisor and the Chuukese language teachers. Our partnerships provide resource services, Waipahu community Coalition, Legal Aide, Public Health Nursing, access to health insurance, Students from the Waipahu High School educational pathway volunteer their time to help with tutorials for our younger students and the Leeward District ELL program assist us with interpretation and VISTA/Americorp positions which help to coordinate the programs.

Additionally, the center also runs a sewing center for our migrant women. These women who have limited English abilities learn how to use their skill to earn some income for their families. The Safe Haven Computer Access Center, as it was initially called, was created to address a need for more computer access for our youth and adults in this geographical area. Their ultimate goal is to improve the success of students and adults in this area by improving family literacy which they hope would improve the community. The center provide tutors to help with homework, training for adults in English to do job searches, write resumes, and provide a place where those in need could access documents to receive help with services.

Wow that sounds like a lot of stuff to help with-this is the Awesome part!  Our $1,000 grant to Waipahu Safe Haven Immigrant Resource Center will be used to keep their internet services going until they can plan for long term resources. Currently the monthly cost is $49.99 according to Hawaiian Telephone, thats 20 months of  much needed internet service. AF Oahu is thrilled to help those in the community who are trying to better themselves and we are fortunate people like Barbara Tom are out there looking out for those less fortunate.