Five countries - Seven projects


Cambodia - Countrywide

Cambodian Refugee-led Humanitarian Mission

Khemaras Center (Pictures by Hongly Khuy, leader)

In 1998-99, the Cambodian refugee community in Hawaii reached out to local organizations in Cambodia to assess needs. As a result, since 2000, in partnership with local Cambodian NGOs and churches, Cambodian refugees in Hawaii have empowered people in Cambodia, especially the homeless, poor, orphans, trauma survivors, elderly, prisoners, and others who struggle to survive daily. The Hawaii refugee community raises funds to support yearlong humanitarian work in Cambodia. And every year since 2000, a refugee-led volunteer team has traveled to Cambodia for a 2-week - Christmas in Cambodia - humanitarian mission. No one receives a salary or gets paid for their work.

Click here to see gallery ‘what we do’ by Hongly Khuy.

In 2002, the Khemaras Center was founded. It is a spiritual and social space for the Hawaii refugee community and others who are interested in supporting lasting peace in Cambodia. Khemaras Center members have partnered with community groups throughout the United States to work in Cambodia. In 2015, the Center led over 60 people to Cambodia on its 2 week Christmas humanitarian mission.

The efforts of the Khemaras Center and local Cambodian partners have resulted in lasting positive changes. Individuals have completed their education and are providing for their families. Over a dozen water wells have been built throughout rural Cambodia. Also, 2 community facilities, educational supplies, computers, bikes, medical supplies and services have been provided in the most remote communities of Cambodia.

If you or organization wants to join us, please email Hongly Khuy directly at or

Rwanda - Countrywide

1994 Genocide Survivor Communities, Widows; AIDS & HIV survivors

Needs assessment was completed in 2016.

Caluya Foundation travelled again to Rwanda in January 2018, and worked with a local partner Samaritan Shoulders on the following ongoing projects:

• Genocide survivor community: Visited with widows and women infected with HIV/AIDS because of sexual assault during genocide, Kinyinya Community in Kigali.
• Mental health research gathered from 2 sites.
• Widows identified micro-economic venture as most self-empowering work, as this provides a stable self-sustaining income. Help Caluya Foundation raise funds to purchase sewing machines for women to produce uniforms for school children. Widows currently produce bags, kitchen linens, clothing, crafts and jewelry.
• Caluya Foundation provides funds to support Kinyinya pig farm, another ongoing source of sustainable income for the Kinyinya community.
• Develop eco-tourism to support holistic empowerment.
• Genocide Memorial Group – Peace Curriculum. The Rwandan Dept of Education requires that Peace Education be included in elementary & high school curricula to prevent genocides & inter-group conflict. Healthier interpersonal skills among youth throughout the planet is a need.


Rwanda - Countrywide

Peer Support Training, Orphan Head-Of-Households

Peer Support Training began in January 2018, when Caluya Foundation provided a 2-day training on mental health skills and Posttraumatic Stress education for staff and orphaned children survivors of the 1994 genocide. Research data was gathered. Participants identified mental health skills training and micro-economic ventures as the prevailing needs.

In January 2019, Caluya led a Peer Support team (6 from USA, 3 local Rwandans) to Kigali and Western Rwanda, and trained several groups in trauma-informed peer support skills and capacity building. See details in our Events page.


Uganda - Mount Elgon, Sebei

Psychosocial Peer Support training and Mobile Mental Health teams, Mount Elgon, Uganda

Our work on Mt. Elgon started in 2016.

Psychosocial skills through peer support and mobile mental health teams (assess with short term interventions) benefit traumatized Sabiny women and girls who have experienced female genital mutilation (FGM). Caluya Foundation is partnering with NGOs, local professionals and para-professionals to provide culturally appropriate mental health services to help individuals and communities heal from FGM-related trauma.

A weeklong trip to Uganda was completed in January, 2018. Some highlights:

• 2 town meetings to discuss culturally-relevant strategies to provide mental health services to FGM survivors and their families.
• Team gathered research data to conduct a needs-assessment from approximately 130 respondents from 3 sites.
• Dr. Cristina Sanchez, M.D., Pearl Health Clinic, met with local medical personnel to develop local volunteer mobile mental health team, and a monthly training for Ugandan medical & para-mental health providers through a HIPAA secure online platform.
• Team provided training for mental health professionals and para-professionals.
• Met with local organization and provided funds to purchase sanitary kits & reusable pads (new technology) for young women who live in Kampala slums, and support HIV/AIDS prevention education.

Watch our video report from Sebei, Uganda: Betty Cherop FGM Experience

Uganda - Kampala

Empower at-risk young women and families in Kampala slums

• Support HIV/AIDS prevention education in Kampala slums

• Keep young women in school by mentoring and funding school fees that impoverished families cannot afford.

• Help fund necessary hygiene products to reduce exploitation of young women, and support educational costs.

• During COVID-19, funds to support urgent need of food supplies & toiletries for children and families.

Kenya - South Sudanese Refugees

A church has intentionally located in a Nairobi slum to serve marginalized and traumatized communities. Caluya Foundation met with over 50 adult South Sudanese refugees who are members of this local church and live in the slums. At present, there are over 3 million refugees from South Sudan in Kenya. With the help of 6 translators, research data was gathered. Participants identified human rights, basic life necessities, and micro-economic support as primary needs.

Initial support has been provided. Help Caluya Foundation fund basic life necessities and urgent needs.


Mexico - Ciudad Juarez

Build homes for the homeless in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

This annual mission began in 1999, and led by Hawaii residents. Home-building volunteers raise the funds to purchase all building materials. The recipient-families also build alongside volunteers, and are accountable to local organizations to ensure appropriate use of the dwelling.

Several families have participated in this short(er) & very meaningful mission experience. If you are interested in helping your family members stretch and grow, while making a huge difference in people's lives, consider this powerful work - just south of the border.