How You Can Help Raise

The Kalaupapa Memorial

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa has just started our fundraising drive for the Memorial. We estimate the project will cost $10.5 million in all—$5.5 million for construction and $5 million for an endowment that will ensure the Memorial will be properly cared for and maintained into perpetuity.


To reach that figure, we would need donations of $1,300 made for each of the 8,000 people sent to Kalaupapa. We think $1,300 is a small price for the sacrifices and contributions to society made by each of these individuals.


Leaders of Ka ‘Ohana wanted the descendants of Kalaupapa to have the first opportunity to donate to the Memorial that will list the names of their ancestors so we have started “The Kalaupapa Memorial Family Challenge.”  This means the families of Kalaupapa will be the foundation upon which the Memorial will be built.


Kalaupapa leader Bernard Punikai`a, who envisioned Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, made the first donation to The Kalaupapa Memorial with a check for $500.

Photo: Valerie Monson

“The Kalaupapa Memorial Family Challenge” is the idea of descendant Pi‘olani Motta who has been searching for the graves of her grandparents unsuccessfully for 30 years. It was Pi‘o’s idea that families, as a unit, would raise $1,300 together to keep alive the memory of their Kalaupapa kupuna. She envisioned family members not only raising money together, but also talking about their ancestor(s) so their Kalaupapa kupuna would remain a part of their family legacy.


Two other ‘Ohana leaders who also had family at Kalaupapa – Lopaka Ho‘opi‘i and Charmaine Woodward – joined Pi‘o in signing the letter that  asks other descendants to join the effort to raise the Memorial.


In early 2020, Ka ‘Ohana will launch “The Kalaupapa Memorial Friends Challenge” where those individuals who have been inspired by the people of Kalaupapa – through personal relationships, a visit on the Kalaupapa tour, reading a book or through the legacies of Saints Damien and Marianne – will be invited to donate.


In addition, Ka ‘Ohana leaders are meeting with government officials, foundations and private donors. We are also developing other opportunities for people to be part of this effort to forever remember and acknowledge the people of Kalaupapa.


In the meantime, you can support Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa and the planning for the Memorial along with supporting our longstanding and successful outreach and educational programs that help families reconnect to their Kalaupapa ancestors, visit schools and share our award-winning exhibits. If you are interested, click on the “Contribute” button.


Together, we are making sure that the people of Kalaupapa are never forgotten and that their lives live on through their descendants and those they have inspired.