Who We Are

Seventy Kakaupapa residents, family members and friends gather in Kalaupapa in August, 2003, to organize Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.

Photo: ©Wayne Levin

Kuulei Bell.jpg

Kuulei Bell, longtime postmistress at Kalaupapa and community leader, was elected first President of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.

Photo: ©Wayne Levin

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa was established in August, 2003, as a nonprofit organization at the request of the Kalaupapa residents. The ‘Ohana is dedicated to promoting the value and dignity of every individual who was taken from their family and forcibly isolated on the Kalaupapa peninsula due to government policies regarding leprosy (now also called Hansen’s disease). The ‘Ohana also recognizes the importance of the kama`aina, mea kokua and children who were born at Kalaupapa

‘Ohana leaders and supporters include the residents of Kalaupapa, their family members/descendants, friends of the community, students, clergy and anyone interested in the future of Kalaupapa and her residents.


As the population of Kalaupapa decreases and we learn about similar facilities around the world facing changes, it was deemed of vital  importance to bring together people who would support and do what is necessary to ensure that the remaining residents of Kalaupapa can live out their lives in this,  their home, and have the assurance that their history will be preserved and passed down for the education and inspiration of present and future generations.


Over the years, the mission and programs of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa have expanded beyond what we ever imagined in that first workshop.


We hope you will join us in our efforts to honor the people of Kalaupapa and to perpetuate their lives and legacies.