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The Power of Women Helping Women

Building Stronger Communities Together, Part 2

Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog”

This article is part 2 of the “Power of Women Helping Women” shared in the May 2024 issue. Here we will zoom in on a few more Maui women organizations whose mission is to support each other.

here are many organizations by women, for women on Maui. The following are just some of the women communities I would like to highlight. There are diverse missions and focus and it is good because they can fulfill diverse needs as well. If you are a woman desiring to connect with other women, look into some of these fantastic women organizations.

Women engage in an empowerment photoshoot hosted by Mālama Yo Mama. Every photoshoot comes with surprises and always leaves these women feeling beautiful and supported.
Photo courtesy @capturedbycammy and @amethystjayphotography

Mālama Yo Mama

Mālama Yo Mama (@malamayomama on Instagram) started with women empowerment photoshoots. It was organized by Leslie Garo as a way to connect, to collaborate with local photographers, to empower women by feeling beautiful and to make memories and capture them. This blossomed into something more. It has become a community of women with real stories and real connections, with various events and gatherings.

Inspired by the 2024 theme for International Women’s month, “Inspire Inclusion,” Leslie emphasizes this community is never about competition.

“It’s up to us to take the leap in reaching out to another strong, passionate woman and to build connections. The more heads and hearts working together… the better! Even when you don’t think there’s a mutual piece, there is! Whether it be your mission as a businesswoman, or your values and beliefs or even the obstacles you’ve encountered or the dream you envision… Someone out there has a similar thought, a similar dream! Work together and see how far you’ll go!” This is one of many encouragements Leslie shares with the Mālama Yo Mama community.

Founders of Momprenuers Jovina Ka’eo and Luana HueSing-Ammasi help women balance the demands of running a business with parenting.
Photo courtesyMaui Mompreneurs

Maui Mompreneur

‘Mompreneur’ (@MauiMompreneurEvents on Instagram) is a term typically used to describe entrepreneurial mothers who balance the demands of running a business with parenting. With the passion to help Maui women navigate and succeed in this complex entrepreneurial world, Luana HueSing-Ammasi and Jovina Kaeo founded Maui Mompreneur more than a decade ago.

Maui Mompreneur provides a platform for networking, sharing resources and offering mutual support among women on Maui who are juggling the responsibilities of motherhood and entrepreneurship. They organize events, where mompreneurs can connect, learn new skills and promote their businesses.

“Over more than a decade, we’ve built more than an event; we’ve cultivated a vibrant community of innovative, hardworking mompreneurs who inspire and support one another,” says HueSing-Ammasi. “Witnessing the growth, successes and challenges of our vendors while contributing to the local economy and fostering a supportive environment for family businesses is truly rewarding. Each year adds another layer to our rich tapestry of stories, learning and connections, making it an honor to lead and evolve with such a dynamic, inspiring group of entrepreneurs.”

Aloha Ladies Club

The Aloha Ladies Club on Maui (@alohaladiesclub on Instagram) is a social organization founded by Shauvon Young, designed for women, often focusing on creating a supportive community through various activities and events. The club has a sisterhood vibe all while supporting the community of Maui.

The club aims to foster friendships, provide networking opportunities and engage in community service. Activities might include social gatherings, workshops, recreational outings and charitable events.

Members of the Aloha Ladies Club often enjoy a sense of camaraderie and connection, which is particularly valuable in a close-knit island community. The club can serve as a great way for women to meet new friends, share experiences and contribute positively to the community on Maui. Specific details about membership, events and activities are found on the club’s website or through local community announcements.

Maui Mompreneur celebrates its eleventh year supporting the local community of shoppers and vendors during a spring event at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College.
Photo courtesy Maui Mompreneurs

What Makes You Feel Beautiful

What Makes You Feel Beautiful (@whatmakesyoufeel_beautiful on Instagram) is a community-based organization dedicated to fostering self-love throughout every stage and phase of life in girls and women of all ages. There’s a special emphasis on supporting those aged 13–19 from economically marginalized backgrounds in Maui County. They provide transformative experiences through workshops focused on self-esteem, skill building, body positivity and self-care, alongside offering mentorship, summer internships, educational resources and outreach awareness campaigns.

This organization, founded by Monica Marrow, places a special emphasis on supporting girls, especially those from Maui who are at a higher risk due to factors such as poverty, homelessness, minority status with limited support and restricted access to programs. What Makes You Feel Beautiful is committed to addressing these challenges by providing girls with essential life skills to overcome obstacles and thrive.

Through the incentives and resources offered, this organization strives to instill self-love, confidence and empowerment in girls through its mentorship programs. They provide educational opportunities, paid mentoring internships and practical tools to equip girls with the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully navigate life and overcome difficulties. Their ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of girls, empowering them to realize their full potential and contribute to the reduction of homelessness, poverty, and other obstacles in Hawai‘i.

Women Helping Women

The mission of Women Helping Women (@womenhelpingwomenmaui on Instagram) is to end domestic violence through advocacy, education and prevention, and to offer safety, support and empowerment to women and children, victims of domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help or would like to speak with someone about domestic violence, confidential help is available 24 hours a day. Their staff is prepared to assist callers in preparing safety plans, respond to general questions about domestic violence, provide referrals and share additional information about its programs and services.

From its start in 1977 as a grassroots effort to provide assistance and support for women victims of domestic violence, Women Helping Women has steadily grown to become an established non-profit agency providing a comprehensive continuum of services to over six hundred women, men, and children each year. Throughout its history, Women Helping Women has expanded its organizational capacity to support a variety of programs, projects and activities focused on direct intervention, advocacy, education and prevention. Today, Women Helping Women supports a staff of over twenty dedicated professionals, with offices in West Maui, Hāna and on Lāna‘i.

This latest event that Maui Mompreneurs participated in was held April 26–28, 2024
Photo courtesy Maui Mompreneurs

Experience the Power, Get Involved

The women organizations I mentioned here are just a few examples of women’s groups here on Maui. When you look for others, you will find them. There are women supporting women in churches, gyms, crossfits, yoga studios, etc. There are moms supporting moms in play dates and sports related to their kids as team moms. From one woman to another, I encourage you to find your “tribe.” Find the community that fits you.

P.S. If you are a man reading this, I encourage you to support and empower the women in your lives by giving them the time and the support to get involved in womenʻs communities. You will be happy you did.

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media enthusiast. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend … and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Digital Media Specialist with Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers. She is the author of the book Maui 2021 and Beyond.