Our Hui Nohona culture team stayed busy through the month of October, giving several trainings, webinars, and demonstrations to staff and program families.
The trainings were with our Ka Paʻalana program, first piloting the lessons with our program caregivers at Ka Paʻalana’s parenting class. The next day the lessons were conducted with our Ka Paʻalana staff. The trainings involved our value of pono, or goodness, morality — the idea of doing the right thing at the right time and for the right reasons.
Each lesson is half storytelling or myth, and half hands-on activity, and embeds Hawaiian cultural traditions in modern-day practices. Hui Nohona is constantly striving to bring the best practices to our staff and program families. After each training or webinar, participants complete evaluation forms. Our culture team uses these to ensure that what they are teaching is interesting, practical, and fun!
One important element of Hui Nohona’s work is to ensure that the cultural lessons are transferable to keiki. “We make sure that caregivers and teachers can take our lessons and translate them down to keiki,” says Hawaiian Cultural Specialist Assistant Malia Scanlan. “These activities are made for them to use with the kids.”
Hui Nohona has also been working with our Tūtū and Me program staff developing a curriculum based on PIDF’s five core values: aloha, lōkahi, mālama, pono, and poʻokela. The curriculum is being presented in a series of webinars in order to reach our outer island
Besides the internal webinars and classes for program families, Hui Nohona frequently has a presence at different PIDF events. At Ka Paʻalana’s annual health fair in October, Malia discussed some traditional Hawaiian medicine through ʻhealingʻ herbal teas: māmaki (a nettle), ʻōlena (turmeric), and koʻokoʻolau, a critically endangered plant native only to the island of Molokaʻi.
Health Fair participants were invited to make their own juice from freshly pulled ʻōlena, and sample the different teas. The juice was so potent, many participants said it burned almost like alcohol! Malia explained how according to Hawaiian tradition, the best time to pick herbal medicines is when the moon is fullest.
The Hui Nohona team has been a vital resource for both the staff at PIDF and our program families, as we seek to further our mission of serving Hawaiian families through timeless Hawaiian values.