On May 9, 2014, the Nā ‘Ōiwi program graduated six fathers from the Onelau‘ena HOPE Shelter in Kalaeloa, Hawai‘i. The Nā ‘Ōiwi program teaches Hawaiian men six Hawaiian values through study and cultural practices to help them be better fathers, husbands, and leaders to their families. Over a period of 8 weeks, these men learned the meaning of kuleana (responsibility), alaka‘i (leadership), mālama (caring), ‘ohana (family), ho‘oponopono (forgiving) and lōkahi (working together) and were encouraged to live these values out in their daily lives.
Nā ‘Ōiwi also encourages the fathers to have a strong spiritual life and to practice “pule,” giving thanks to Ke Akua as did our ancestors of long ago. Nā ‘Ōiwi tries to instill a sense of awareness and identity of who they are as Hawaiian men; knowing the difference between Kane and Kanaka.
The highlight event this year was a hosted visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center with Mr. Seamus Fitzgerald who gave the men a personal tour of the Maori Village and a brief explanation of the relationship between the Maori and Hawaiian people.
Although more than 25 Hawaiian fathers participated in one or more modules, six demonstrated the commitment to complete all six modules: Mr. Alvin Adams, Mr. Solomon Kupihea, Mr. Mitchell Montayre, Mr. Ryan “Wana” Mailolo, Mr. Rooney Racoma, and Mr. Bricyn Ortiz. Nā ‘Ōiwi means “indigenous sons.” These are our Hawaiian sons and fathers, and what they have learned couldn’t have been achieved without the aloha from Partners in Development Foundation and Ke Akua.