Kupuna Caregiver: Project Dana

Kupuna Caregiver

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Inside this blue house in Moiliili, there’s a lot of love and support for our kupuna.

“Project Dana is a interfaith volunteer caregivers program. Through trained volunteers we offer what we call social support to the frail elders, family caregivers and disabled persons,” says Cyndi Osajima, Project Dana Executive Director.

Project Dana has been caring for our kupuna for 30 years.

“We just celebrated our 30th anniversary last month. It was started by two visionary women, the late Shimegi Kanezawa and our founding Administrator, Mrs. Rose Nakamura. It started at Moiliili Hongwanji during bon dance season in 1989 in the kitchen, and they thought it was time for Buddhist to be more active,” says Osajima.

The caregiver support groups goal is to alleviate stress.

“We encourage them as much as possible to do some kind of self care,” says Maria Morales, Project Dana caregiver support group coordinator.

They also recommend talking it out.

“If you hear other caregivers are going through the same situation or maybe a worse situation than you are, you feel that you’re not alone in the problem and you can learn from each other on how to cope,” says Morales.

From their rap sessions to educational services and group outings, Project Dana is always looking for volunteers. 

“One thing that we always say is that Dana means selfless giving. Dana is a joy and our volunteers love to do what they can do to help,” says Osajima.

For more information on Project Dana, click here.

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