Note: This holiday season, in lieu of a traditional holiday gift guide, we'll be featuring a different LGBT organization each day for our "30 Days Of LGBT Giving." Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible group that's working tirelessly on behalf of the LGBT community.
Kulia Na Mamo, in Honolulu, was founded in 2003, first as Ke Ola Mamo, which served disenfranchised Native Hawaiians. But due to the many transgender people on the island, the organization's executive director Ashliana Hawelu suggested they begin targeting those individuals.
Now, Kulia "strives to improve the quality of life for 'mahuwahine," and other transgender people living in the Hawaiian islands, with a special emphasis on those who are people of color, through providing services in the areas of health, education, cultural and other assistance."
Hawelu spoke with Honolulu Weekly in 2008, talking about the disadvantages and discrimination faced by transgender people and that Kulia aims "to empower transgender people to live more healthier and productive lifestyles." Some programs the center provides include education on HIV/AIDS prevention, a food bank and employee placement guidance. Hawelu noted in her interview with the weekly that Kulia was looking to [re]establish a transitional home for those exiting sex work but that the funding was cut.