Ka Pahuhopu o Kawainui is an ʻāina education program designed for 11-18- year-old learners and offers quality, culturally-grounded curriculum for ʻōpio from Kailua and neighboring ahupuaʻa focused on nurturing the next generation of aloha ʻāina leaders in Koʻolau with deep kuleana to ʻāina and community.
Participants will engage with cultural practitioners from our community in an intergenerational transfer of Kailua and Koʻolau-specificknowledge and practices, including haʻi moʻolelo (storytelling), mele (songs, chants), agricultural practices, food preparation, and hana noʻeau (traditional cultural arts). They will gain skills from a variety of disciplines (e.g., Hawaiian Studies, Hawaiian Language, Education, Agricultural & Aquacultural Economies, and several STEM fields), thus setting them up for success in multiple college and career pathways rooted in ʻāina. Furthermore, they will be able to see the relevance of their interdisciplinary learning to address real-life issues in our community, which will hopefully inspire them to pursue majors and/or careers that are seeking innovative thinkers with on-the-ground experience who are driven by kuleana to our ʻāina and people in order to affect lasting social change.
The piko of the program is the ʻili ʻāina of Kūkanono in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua, specifically an area of land that extends from the base of the Ulupō heiau to the banks of Kawainui. However, learners will also be exposed to several wahi pana throughout in our Kailua community from ma uka to ma kai.
The overall program goals are:
To increase the number of youth who are studying, practicing, and promoting land-based, Hawaiian cultural knowledge, values, and skills unique to Kailua at storied places in our ahupuaʻa
To restore and grow healthy relationships between people (kanaka) and land/place (ʻāina) through the retelling of Kailua-specific stories, replanting and eating of our ancestral foods, and caring for the sacred sites, lands, and waters of Kailua
To cultivate an understanding in our youth and their families of the reciprocal kanaka-ʻāina relationship and how it can feed us physically, intellectually, and culturally
The name of our program comes from a catchphrase that occurs throughout the moʻolelo (traditional story) of Mākālei, the fish-attracting branch of Kawainui fishpond. This phrase reminds us that we should all be striving for the return of productivity to Kawainui and of well-being to Kailua. As we learn in the moʻolelo through the journey of a Kailua boy, his grandmother, and their Kailua chiefs, this can only be accomplished through the efforts of a community intent on care at every possible level: care for land, care for water, care for people, care
for relationships, and care for legacy.
We believe that caring for a healthy Ulupō Nui is a first step on the way to caring for a healthy Kawainui, which in turn is the key to caring for a healthy Kailua. We envision people and place together again, inseparable. And we see our youth of Ka Pahuhopu as agents of this care.