Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke Building Program received a grant award totaling $300,000 that will support the Native Hawaiian community through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Program representatives say the grant will help to reinforce and strengthen Native Hawaiians ‘ohana (family), moʻomeheu (culture), and ʻāina (land and water) while also providing support to increase Economic Stability.
Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke will use the funds over the next two years, “to 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 I Kū Nā Loea.
“Through I Kū Nā Loea, we hope to provide comprehensive job-readiness training in vocational fields that will prepare our youth to increase their economic prospects,” said Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke’s Executive Director, Lipoa Kahaleuahi. “We are grateful for our partnership with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to offer Native Hawaiian youth in East Maui culturally relevant vocational training activities that will prepare them to pursue higher- wage careers in our community.”
“To increase the employability of Native Hawaiian youth, this project will combine vocational training for our educators and students while incorporating Hawaiian Language instruction into the vocational training fields,” said Viliami Tukaufu, who will support financial literacy efforts associated with the project. “By doing so, we will prepare for a bilingual workforce that will reflect our community and the haumāna in the Kula Kaiapuni Hawaiian Immersion program at Hāna School.”
Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke is an award-winning vocational training program for K-12 youth and graduates in Hāna, Maui. The program’s approach is to teach academic subjects through real-life, hands-on application, where students can understand the concepts they’re learning through tangible examples. Projects meet real school and community needs, so students’ education immediately serves those whose lives it touches.