The PIDF board of directors and officers met for a two-day retreat to connect, engage, and learn about new initiatives and updates from existing programs. Collectively, the team brings forth a vast amount of experience and streamlined effort to support the organization’s mission to inspire and equip families and communities for success and service using timeless Native Hawaiian values and traditions.
The retreat steps off the heels of the Ulu Hana 25th anniversary Pāʻina, where the PIDF board of directors and officers gathered to celebrate and support the foundation laid before them by founders Jan Dill, Morris Takushi, and the late Gary Glenn.
With the addition of four new board members in the last year, the team had an opportunity to connect and learn from each other, as well as share more about their own networks and the capacities for which their reach can benefit PIDF and the Hawaiʻi community at-large. The retreat discussion reflected on organizational directions to strengthen foundations, maintain core values, and consider ways to build financial strength, visibility, and partnerships.
“PIDF has been a critical provider of services from keiki to kūpuna,” said Kyle Chock, PIDF board chair. “As a board, we were able to spend time and see first-hand the direct impact these programs have in improving beneficiaries’ lives. Our goal is to continue to provide services and collaborate to address the critical issues in our community.”
The board headed over to the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center, host to the Opportunity Youth Action Hawaiʻi campus partners: PIDF’s Kupa ʻAina Natural Farm, Kinai ʻEha, Hale Kipa, RYSE Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Youth Correctional Facility, and Olomana School.
Farm hands Machijah and Mana led the PIDF board of directors through the traditional Hawaiian and contemporary farming methods, such as the Korean style fertilizer that they use to cultivate crops like kalo and ʻuala in the mala. Not only did the young staff share about how working on the farm has changed their views and life choices, they briefed the board on the various projects and visitors from Kawailoa campus partners, including youth from HYCF or RYSE, who support and learn about food security and ʻāina-based healing.
The board of directors toured the rest of the campus and ended their day at the Kawailoa campus partner, Kinai ʻEha, where they met with ʻōpio (youth) beginning their fitness session after a day’s work. They shared their gratitude for being able to participate in diversion programs that offer opportunities outside of a jail cell or on the streets. The team toured the pilot residential work training facility and learned about fitness as part of the mind, body, and spiritual healing that is supported on campus.
“Learning about the vital work of PIDF in collaboration with the network of providers involved in the Opportunity Youth Action Hawaiʻi collective was both inspiring and heartening,” said Kawena Beaupre, PIDF board director. “This effort is a true testament to how a Native Hawaiian system of support that offers healing, empowerment, and opportunities can change one’s trajectory in life. It also exemplifies the importance and value of PIDF’s work in our communities.”
The PIDF board retreat concluded with an exercise that parallels the way kūpuna categorized and organized our natural world and all systems within our universe. The team focused on deconstructing a chant called “Kūlia e Uli” using the Papakū Makawalu method taught by the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation. This method categorizes systems into three houses: Papahulilani (space above the head into the stars), Papahulihonua (area inclusive of the earth, ocean and itʻs development and evolution by natural causes), and Papāhanaumoku (stage of life from embryonic state of all life to death).
When applied to PIDF, the Papakū Makawalu method can serve as a guide in understanding how our programs are categorized, how they function within the system they are placed in, and opportunities for improvement. Through careful observation and analysis, the Hawaiian people navigated systems and responded to them in a connected, aligned way, much like how PIDF hopes to flow within our communities.