Monday | April 20, 2015
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Mahalo letter World Festival a big success at Hilo Bayfront

With grateful hearts and total gladness, the members and friends of Divine Mercy Family Foundation, as well as the board of directors and president, would like to express our profound gratitude to the people of Hawaii for their unrelenting support to the success of our First Annual World Festival, held on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Hilo BayFront Beach Park.

The Divine Mercy Family Foundation was founded on Aug. 28, 2010, to help orphaned children and pregnant teenagers in Nigeria. When three orphans, Rosita, Oge and Makanwa, reached out to us to help them with food, shelter, medical care and quality education, their cry for help compelled us to found Divine Mercy Family Foundation. Our mission is to provide God’s love in a caring and nurturing environment where under-privileged children are spared the scourge of homelessness, hunger and loneliness.

Growing up in Africa is very challenging. People lack electricity, food, and medical care. To eke out a living, street children roam the streets and rummage through garbage. With no child protective services to ensure their safety and wellbeing, children are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and neglect, even death. My sister, Mercy, and I have longed dreamed of establishing a refuge home for orphans and pregnant teenage girls, who are often tuned away from their families or seek illegal abortions. We have acquired land on which to build the shelter, and seek the generosity of people willing to help.

That generosity came into play during our inaugural World Festival, when the people of Hawaii in their spirit of aloha graced the occasion.

We would like to extend a warm mahalo to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his support and encouragement and to the governor’s representatives, Kaonohi Kehele and Wendy Botelho-Cortez.

A special thank you goes to Mayor Billy Kenoi. We greatly appreciate your support for our foundation. Thank you also to Clayton Honma and all staff of Hawaii County Parks and Recreation, we appreciate your tireless efforts in providing us with a venue. To the County Traffic Control staff and Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge: your support and presence made a great difference. Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to the Big Island Cheerleading group headed by their coach, Elizabeth Swain, for their exquisite and outstanding performance. We were filled with awe as they cheered the runners and walkers. Great job, cheerleaders. You rock!

This event would not have been made known without the help of the local media, who publicized the event. Thank you for your consistency, love and support. Our superb appreciation goes to the many individuals, organizations and businesses, public and private, who singularly and collectively made our event a success. Thank you for believing and trusting in our mission.

The Divine Mercy Family Foundation has embarked on a community service locally in schools, through the introduction of Gongfuball sports. Headed by Steve Martin, this game teaches youth how to incorporate sports and good nutrition to their daily lives. A tour to different schools in Hawaii is scheduled for October. Please extend your aloha when he visits your school.

Our appreciation would be incomplete without recognizing the unprecedented kindness shown by Piilani Chaves and her crew, who deprived themselves of sleep, braved the rain and sun to prepare and conduct a malasada sale.

It is our wish that people everywhere would have a global perception and be sensitive to the dire needs of suffering children and teens in third world countries, who struggle to provide at least a meal a day. We encourage everyone to join the effort to help ameliorate the needs of children. Meanwhile, the members of the Divine Mercy Family Foundation continue to serve the people of Hawaii in our community and at various places of work with great devotion, love and care. We hope the people of Hawaii will continue to support us as we spread aloha beyond the shores.

Francisca Emefiene Pinkney

President, Divine Mercy Family Foundation


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