Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke building program receives $220,000 OHA grant

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December 22, 2022

Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike solar
File photo courtesy Hawaiʻi Energy and Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike.


East Maui’s Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke Building Program is the recipient of a $220,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that will support the Native Hawaiian community. The grant will help to reinforce and strengthen Native Hawaiians’ ʻohana (family), moʻomeheu (culture), and ʻāina (land and water).

With a $220,000 OHA grant award, MKHKI, over the next two years, will provide Native Hawaiian youth with a way to learn that makes sense to them, builds their self-esteem, and shows them that they have the power to change their future, specifically through its initiative entitled Mana ʻĀina, Mauli Ola.

“Through Mana ʻĀina, Mauli Ola, we hope to foster the deeply rooted connections our haumāna, ʻohana, and kūpuna inherently have to ʻāina to uplift our community,” said Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke’s Executive Director, Lipoa Kahaleuahi. “We are empowered by our collaboration with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to offer activities and services across our four core programs to enhance mauli ola, promote cultural understandings, and increase job skills in the fields of agriculture, education, food services, and construction.”

“The powerful part about working with the kids in the māla and in mea poʻe Hawaiʻi is that I have the opportunity to facilitate experiences that deepen relationships with land, community, and self,” reflected Nalani Tukuafu, MKHKI’s Kumu Kukui or graduate teacher of cultural and garden activities. “Growing food, pounding poi, making clothing from bark, or playing Makahiki games, and doing those things the way their kupuna did them is a pathway to nurturing a communion between the past and present. The little moments that they have now, even though they can be brief, have the potential to become a meaningful fulcrum in their journey as Hawaiians.”

Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke is an award-winning vocational training program for K-12 youth and graduates in Hāna, Maui. Our approach is to teach academic subjects through real-life, hands- on application, where students can understand the concepts they’re learning through tangible examples. Our projects meet real school and community needs, so our students’ education immediately serves those whose lives it touches. Learn more at

Established by the state Constitutional Convention in 1978, OHA is a semi-autonomous state agency mandated to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians. Guided by a board of nine publicly elected trustees, OHA fulfills its mandate through advocacy, research, community engagement, land management and the funding of community programs.

OHA’s Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations whose projects and programs serve the Native Hawaiian community and align with OHA’s Strategic Plan.