Star-Bulletin Features

Looking over some of the donated sewing supplies headed to the Philippines recently were, from left, Carolyn Winston, executive director of the Women's Board of Missions for the Pacific; Melinda Ahn, chairwoman of Kokokahi Tropical Hunger Mission; and Waimea Williams, Ahn's assistant.

Philippine outreach
projects mark
mission’s 25th year

The Tropical Hunger Mission helps
the poor in Asia and the Pacific

By Mary Adamski

The Kokokahi Tropical Hunger Mission is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with business as usual.

Members of the group packed up bolts of cloth, thread, scissors and other donated sewing supplies to send to Ilo Ilo village on Panay island in the Philippines. The items will be accompanied by a $500 grant for a substantial sewing machine and 20 days of instruction for one woman who will then teach others in the new self-help project.

Ilo Ilo is one of three rural Philippine projects that receive annual infusions of aid from the Hunger Mission, which is an outgrowth of the Kokokahi Church in Kaneohe.

Started by then-pastor Olin Pendleton, the project has supported development of self-sustaining agriculture in the poor regions in several Asian and Pacific countries, said Waimea Williams. Although the church congregation is now down to eight members, it manages to generate at least $20,000 a year in support from other United Church of Christ churches for its successful projects among "the poorest of the poor," Williams said.

The mission funded the purchase of land for demonstration farms in three Philippine areas and has brought 20 agricultural students to Hawaii to learn modern farming techniques to implement in their homelands.

This year's projects will include construction of a multi-use educational and senior citizen center in Cagayan de Oro, one of two Mindanao island projects, and investment in a bio-gas installation at the Ilo Ilo pig breeding farm. A $4,170 grant from Central Union Church funded those projects and will also pay for investment in breeding stock for a herd of goats and flock of chickens and matching funds for a six-month supply of animal feed and vaccines on all three projects.

Williams said the Kokokahi group has also received donations of medical supplies and Infomil food supplement for infants from Hawaii institutions which will be delivered by a church member.

The denomination's Women's Board of Missions for the Pacific underwrote the recent sewing project, Williams said.

"A little goes a long way," she said. Donations may be sent to Kokokahi Tropical Hunger Mission, 47-004 Okana Place, Kaneohe 96744.

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