The Nā Pono Keiki Program partnered with Kamehameha Schools to bring keiki and their caregivers in the Waimānalo community to provide culture-based programming designed to build skill sets through hands-on activities which strengthen relationships to ʻāina and culture in community, for keiki and caregivers.
Keiki and their ʻohana had the opportunity to learn from PIDF’s Hui Nohona Hawaiian Cultural Specialists team, assisted by Hawaiian Cultural Practitioners. The ʻohana ventured all over Waimānalo!
The Nā Pono Keiki Program started at Hoʻomaluhia Gardens to learn about the importance of healing for both physical, spiritual, and mental health. They learned from ʻAnakala Homer and ʻAnakē Kapiʻolani different stretching and lomilomi (massage) styles to practice at home.
Overlooked by the Koʻolau mountain range, keiki gathered at PIDF’s Kupa ʻAina Natural Farm to plant food crops like ʻuala (sweet potato) and distribute pinto beans in open fields to plant and regenerate soil. The Nā Pono keiki learned about the importance of food sustainability, and even got to take home baby kalo plants to care for at home.
At Waimānalo Beach park, keiki and their ʻohana put on the gloves and got to cleaning up. Learning how to mālama their community helps them connect and appreciate the reason why it’s important to care for our natural resources.
At Kaupō Beach Park, ʻohana learned how to use natural resources for every day uses. ʻAnakē Malia taught them an oli and mele to help them learn, connect, and pay respects to Waimānalo. Keiki used smooth koʻa (coral) as pumice stones to relieve the heels of their caregiver’s feet. They also learned how to use sand to smooth surfaces of instruments like ipu and ʻohe (bamboo). They learned to mālama our moana, and picked up any trash they saw around.
One of their last outdoor huakaʻi was to Kaiona Beach Park. Here they listened to moʻolelo about Kaiona from ʻAnakala Aaron Mahi and sang together. They then learned from ʻAnakē Lorna, a hala weaving expert. All the keiki and caregivers were given freshly harvested hala leaves to clean, cut, and press into rolls to prepare for weaving.
Mahalo piha to all of our participants, guest practitioners, and staff who made this summer learning experience so meaningful and interactive. We send a heart-felt aloha and hope to catch you in Waimānalo using your fresh or fine-tuned skills. Aloha!