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Episode 719 Puka ʻana of the CBS show Hawaii Five-0 brings the issue of sex trafficking in Hawaiʻi into the national spotlight. Hoʻōla Nā Pua met with Hawaii Five-0 executive producers Peter Lenkov and Bryan Spicer in 2016 to share about the issue of child sex trafficking in Hawaiʻi. Hoʻōla Nā Pua was hopeful the CBS team would participate in creating PSA’s to help spread awareness about the issue. Peter and Bryan from CBS suggested additionally that an episode of Hawaii Five-0 should contain a fictionalized version of a sex trafficking story. The organic partnership was embraced by CBS and we are excited to have helped bring this important episode to life. We want the focus to be on the issue of sex trafficking and how we as a community can come together to build a response. CoFounder Jessica Munoz, CoFounder Aaron Schnobrich, and Development Director Jovanna Giannasio-Fern were on set during filming as technical consultants. The story told is fictional but much of the story is based on true events; true stories of girls who have been sex trafficked in Hawaiʻi. Grace Park’s character Kono comes face to face with the reality of sex trafficking and fights for the capture of the pimp and treatment for the survivor Moani, played by Mackenzie Aladjem.
Hawaii Five-0 episode 724 “Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono” (season finale): McGarrett risks his life when Five-0 attempts their most dangerous rescue yet of young girls trapped in the sex trafficking ring they have been tracking this year. Kono, deeply affected by the case, makes a life-changing decision…
Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, and Chi McBride were asked and volunteered to be in PSAs that would raise awareness about sex trafficking and Hoʻōla Nā Pua. These PSAs were created to educate the public that sex trafficking of children exists, it is happening in Hawaiʻi, and we can do something to fight it. Sex trafficking in Hawaii and around the Unites States takes many forms. When a person induced to perform a commercial sex act is not 18 years old, sex trafficking of children has occurred.
Pearl Haven is one element of Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s Health Program. Pearl Haven will be a residential treatment campus that offers comprehensive treatment to girls who have been trafficked. Pearl Haven needs to be renovated to open. Hoʻōla Nā Pua also offers a Starfish Mentorship Program for at-risk youth and girls who have been victimized as well as a Family Support Group and a in school education and prevention program.
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“Ho`ōla Nā Pua, meaning ‘New Life for Our Children,’ was founded to shine light onto the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of our mission and vision for our community.”