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CBO Grant Highlight: ‘Ōiwi TV Demonstrates the Value of Integrating Cultural Values to COVID Campaigns

HIPHI’s Community Engagement for Health Equity in COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Project (“CBO Grant”) supports and partners with community-based organizations throughout Hawai‘i. One of these organizations brought their unique voice to their project by integrating cultural values into COVID-19 information and messaging.

‘Ōiwi TV (Makauila Inc.) has been a trusted resource in Hawai‘i’s Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities for over 12 years. They have produced thousands of pieces that positively portray their community. They were the lead storyteller for the COVID Pau Campaign, running the social media effort in partnership with over four dozen partners across the islands. From September 2020 to December 2022, they produced video content, hosted town halls, and provided engagement at vaccine and pop-up testing events. 

To continue this important work, ‘Ōiwi TV leveraged the CBO grant to continue delivering COVID-19 messaging for testing, vaccinations, and overall COVID-19 safety. They centered the community values of kuleana (responsibility) and mālama (to care for)  into their campaigns, bringing a familiar sense of community to the public health messaging.

‘Ōiwi TV’s fifth campaign “Protect our Kūpuna” encouraged people to continue safe practices, especially for kūpuna. It launched as President Biden declared the pandemic over.

In the course of 10 months, ‘Ōiwi TV ran six campaigns that were broadcasted in various formats. The campaigns covered timely COVID-19 information from keiki vaccines to safely gathering during the holiday season. The campaigns resulted in over 50 million gross impressions on various media platforms such as traditional and streaming TV, radio, and social media. In addition, ‘Ōiwi TV promoted 66 CBO events related to COVID-19, distributed over 5,000 COVID-19 tests, and attended 19 in-person events. 

Public Health communication and education is a vital tool to address and mitigate pandemics and other health threats. When done well, it can be a great source of timely health information and inspire confidence in the guidance and messaging. ‘Ōiwi TV’s work demonstrates the value of creating public health communication that reflects the culture and values of the community. To learn more, visit ‘Ōiwi TV at  and to check out the campaigns!

Sairel Labasan, MPH

Sairel Labasan, MPH

Program Manager: COVID-19 Projects Liaison
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