National Service Corporation Sends Volunteer to Work in Hawaiian Communities for 12 Months

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 30, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii – The nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has selected a full time volunteer made available through the National Service Corporation and the AmeriCorps VISTA program.  Ben Holland, a 25 year old native of Michigan, arrives in Hawaii in April to begin a year long journey supporting community development in Native Hawaiian communities.  Holland is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and has a background in program development and implementation, and community development.

“This is our 3rd year participating in the AmeriCorps VISTA program administered by the National Service Corporation,” said Lilia Kapuniai, CNHA Vice President.  “Each year, these amazing volunteers dedicate time and energy to promoting community based organizations in CNHA’s membership.  It’s truly a gift and an extra hand for so many of our smaller members and has resulted in hands-on assistance with funding applications and capacity building of these incredible grass roots organizations.”

A total of eight volunteers have worked at CNHA, each dedicated to various areas of the Native Hawaiian community.  In 2010, two VISTA volunteers provided capacity building and grant writing to five CNHA member organizations, including charter schools, homestead associations and cultural organizations.  In 2009, four VISTA volunteers assisted in the development of renewable energy programming to help low income households save on utility costs and to build a statewide program to reach families eligible for Earned Income Tax Credits from the Internal Revenue Service.

“This partnership with the National Service Corporation is amazing,” said Fetia Solomon, CNHA’s Hawaiian Way Fund Coordinator.  “The Hawaiian Way Fund is dedicated to supporting our cultural and community practitioners, and providing full time help through the VISTA program is a great way to advance the remarkable work that our kumu and Hawaiian leaders are bringing to bear for all in Hawaii.”

CNHA’s Hawaiian Way Fund operates the Next Generation Leadership project, creating service opportunities for young and emerging leaders.  In addition to the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, Internships and Fellowships are coordinated annually in various sectors including public policy, loan fund finance and small business initiatives.  For 2010, three leadership slots have been filled, each working directly with Native Hawaiian executives.

For more information on the Next Generation Leadership project, Hawaiian Way Fund, or CNHA, visit www.hawaiiancouncil.org or www.hawaiianwayfund.org or contact CNHA at 808.596.8155.

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians.  For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or visit our website at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.

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