Micronesian community assistance program to receive $250K

Hawaii Independent Staff

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) will award $250,000 to the Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) group to aid in its support of the We Are Oceania Hālau Ola One Stop Center in Honolulu to carry out its mission of addressing the needs of the Micronesian community in Hawai‘i.

“Micronesians, as well as all Freely Associated States (FAS) citizens, face a unique set of challenges when adjusting to life in Hawai‘i,” said Senator Brian Schatz, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This funding will support one stop centers and groups like We Are Oceania as they provide resources and guidance to help these communities succeed.”

We Are Oceania seeks to provide a centralized a support system to help Micronesian communities, families and individuals in Hawai‘i deal with issues including homelessness, urgent medical needs, student truancy and lack of job readiness. The Compacts of Free Association allows for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau to live and work in the United States as legal non-immigrants.

According to the 2013 Compact impact enumeration conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Census, there are 17,170 FAS migrants living in Hawai‘i making up roughly .01 percent of the current population.