Education and Mentorship Programs

Aloha ‘Āina (After-school Program)

This after-school program has served youth 5-18 years of age through a series of ‘āina-based workshops that immerse the ‘opio (youth) from West Kauaʻi in the cultural knowledge and lifestyle of mahi ‘ai kalo from the perspective of the taro farmer. The program’s curriculum include (1) History/Mo‘olelo, (2) Work Ethic/Laulima, (3) Knowledge/’Ike, and (4) Values/Malama ‘Aina  that are fully implemented outdoors in the lo‘i, up mauka (mountains), and in the rivers. This program is designed to develop a new generation of leaders and farmers by fostering pride in self, community and culture while building a strong work ethic in youth participants.

‘Ike Outreach (Schools PreK-12th)

‘Ike aims to foster mālama ‘āina (land stewardship) in keiki Pre K-12th grades during school organized educational experiences. A KIKA educator will go into the classroom one week prior to the group’s Kulāiwi Restoration experience to teach an oli (chant), kalo (taro) parts, and the history of mahi‘ai kalo (taro farming) in the Makaweli area. School groups will be welcomed at the Waimea Swinging Bridge by one of our farmers before walking to the Kulāiwi Restoration site while learning place names and about the families farming in the area. The group’s restoration efforts will be divided into two-one hour work periods of ‘aikapu (boys and girls separated) and laulima (many hands together) before the group meets under the traditional hale (house) for the mo‘olelo (story) of Hāloa and understanding the importance of wai (water). A scaffolded curriculum is being developed to build upon each Kulāiwi educational experience and ensure continued growth in mālama ‘āina and mahi ‘ai kalo.

Noke Mau Mentorship

While KIKA’s mission is ‘āina driven, it is imperative that it arm the next generation with the tools necessary to care for themselves, each other, and the areas being restored. To achieve the organization’s mission, it is critical to instill values such as community pride, cultural integrity, kuleana (responsibility), and aloha ‘āina (love for the land) in the youth by building long-lasting personal and communal relationships. The Noke Mau mentorship program hopes to annually identify five at-risk youth and young adults ages 13-22 who have endured life-struggles and would benefit from the guidance of an invested and knowledgeable community leader. The ʻāina-based experiences will be designed to enhance mentee leadership qualities, build self-confidence, teach collaborative skills needed for success. KIKA will explore partnerships with the DOE, Hale Kipa, Child and Family Service, Queen Liliʻūoklanani Children Centers, and the judiciary department to identify mentees for our Noke Mau mentorship program.

Kulaiwi Internship Program

In 2016, KIKA recognized the need to build the mahi ‘ai kalo and restorative cultural agriculture industry capacity to give students who may not choose a college and career-ready path the opportunity to build their employment skills and resume. Our organization turned to Alu Like to provide paid employment training and work experience for youth who showed an interest in farming, cultural restoration, agriculture, and landscape development. Alu Like’s Ho‘omanea ‘Oiwi program has since provided 12 weeks of paid part-time employment for a total of 12 youth and young adults over the past year at our Kulaiwi (mauka) worksite in Makaweli Valley. In addition, KIKA is now a certified site of employment for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) which provides services to eligible individual to attain successful employment outcomes. DVR eligible workers who are matched with KIKA are provided with the tools/supplies needed for employment and are paid through their program for up to three months. The Kulaiwi Internship program not only provides employment opportunities and job skills in mahi ‘ai kalo (taro farming) and cultural restorative agriculture, but it gives participants the know-how to feed their own family through learned traditional farming practices and techniques. In time, KIKA envisions that its youth and young adult programs will significantly increase the number of individuals and families that will be farming sustainable crops in West Kauai thus supporting them as farm business owners. Kumano I Ke Ala aims to give its West Kauai youth and community additional options in agriculture and farming as it pertains to techniques, practices, self-sufficiency, and employment.

SUPPORT KUMANO I KE ALA

Education/Mentorship Program Needs

  • Funding for staff (2 FTE positions)
  • On-site classroom facility
  • Storage facility at Lucy Wright Park
  • Development of strategic goals
  • Fostering of collaborative relationships.

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