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Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Kūkuluhou MENTORING PROGRAM

Through our flagship 9-month mentoring program, youth ages 12-18 facing challenging life circumstances are connected with land, culture, and community. Immersed in all aspects of cultivating kalo, youth deepen their understanding and appreciation of Hawaiian culture. A key component of this program is one on one mentoring with experienced life coaches.

Levels Of Kūkuluhou

The mentoring program is designed with the possibility for growth and promotion in mind. The 4 tiers are:

Kūkuluhou Program Pokiʻi

Pokiʻi

Entry Level

Kūkuluhou Program Kaikaina

Kaikaina

Internship Level

Kūkuluhou Program Alakaʻi

Alakaʻi

Co-Farm Manager / Peer Mentor Level

Kūkuluhou Program Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship

Ahupuaʻa Systems Apprenticeship (ASA) College and Career Pathway

Pokiʻi – Entry Level

The Pokiʻi, or entry level, of the Kūkuluhou Program focuses on youth (often at-risk due to difficulties with their families and society) helping them to improve their levels of social functioning, self-esteem, cultural connection, and sense of communal belonging. These personal areas of growth develop during their experience at a traditional Hawaiian lo‘i kalo (taro farm). Youth are mentored by Dean Wilhelm who has 15 years experience teaching in the DOE, 10 of those working with challenged youth at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, and peer mentors on staff. The method of mentoring consists of teaching a foundation of Hawaiian values while practicing the traditional cultivation of kalo as a means to shift, grow, and improve their life skills and prosocial development. In addition, participants learn about aspects of Hawaiian history and culture and how these relate to themselves. Kūkuluhou targets four areas of personal development:

Self-Concept

Participants are expected to develop positive feelings about themselves, which are expected to manifest in their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

Social Competence

Participants develop skills to comfortably express themselves in interpersonal and social relationships manifested by improved relationships with peers and adults.

Understanding and Appreciation of Hawaiian Culture and Values

Participants learn about the Hawaiian culture and values through instruction and example during day-to-day hands on activities in the loʻi and demonstrate a new appreciation for their own cultural traditions.

Sense of Connection to the ‘Āina and Community

Participants' feelings of connection to place and community can be indicated by how they act and speak. Words like It’s so peaceful here, I feel safe, and I don’t want to leave likely indicate a feeling a sense of connection which is not demonstrated when they first enter the program.

Lessons

The program follows the DOE quarter system with each 3 month period focusing on one of our core themes. A variety of lessons based on Hawaiian ʻolelo noʻeau (Hawaiian proverbs) are woven into the quarterly theme. Values focused on over the course of the nine months include:

  • Nani Ke Kalo
    Beautiful the Taro
    Theme: Respect
  • ‘Onipaʻa
    Stand firm
    Theme: To be steadfast
  • Hoʻomau
    To persevere
    Theme: Perseverance
  • He Waʻa He Moku, He Moku He Waʻa
    The canoe is an island, the island is a canoe
    Theme: Belonging to a community, working as a team
  • Lōkahi
    Unity, balance, connection to a spiritual force, oneself, others, and the land
    Theme: Finding balance in oneʻs life
  • Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi
    Love, care, and concern for one another
    Theme: Caring for one another
  • Kūlia I Ka Nuʻu
    Strive for the summit; strive for your highest potential
    Theme: Striving for excellence
  • ʻAʻohe Lolena I Ka Wai ʻŌpae
    There is to be no slacking in waters full of shrimp
    Theme: To become an industrious worker
  • Maiau Kahana, Maiau Ka Loaʻa
    Neat work, neat results
    Theme: Take pride in oneʻs work

Video Voice

Participants in the Hoʻokuaʻāina Kūkuluhou Mentoring program participate in video voice projects giving them the opportunity to share what they have learned in the program from their own perspective. It is essential to let their voice be heard and for them to know that their words have meaning. Along with their on-camera interview, we provided them with cameras to document their daily lives while in the program. Our goal with this project was to give them an opportunity to express themselves through a visual piece. It gives them an additional medium to share more about themselves with a creative platform while having some fun in the process.

The values we were focusing on at the time of these videos were Kulia I Ka Nu’u which means to strive for the highest and Hoʻomau which means to persevere. A series of lessons over a period of 3 months were given to help participants with goal setting and give them tools to achieve those goals.

The results for those who stay in the program for at least 3 months are life enhancing and edifying. The skills learned help equip participants with tools they can utilize in real life situations.

Nani Ke Kalo: Personal Project

Core lessons based on Hawaiian values are taught quarterly. A participant in Hoʻokuaʻāinaʻs Kūkuluhou Mentoring Program shares what, the core value Nani Ke Kalo means to him and how he applies it to everyday life in this video voice project.

Nani Ke Kalo: group Project

Core lessons based on Hawaiian values are taught quarterly. In this video, a cohort of participants in Hoʻokuaʻāinaʻs Kūkuluhou Mentoring Program shares what the core value Nani Ke Kalo means to them through the lens of their own camera and interviews.

Nani Ke Kalo: Personal Project

Core lessons based on Hawaiian values are taught quarterly. A participant in Hoʻokuaʻāinaʻs Kūkuluhou Mentoring Program shares what, the core value Nani Ke Kalo means to him and how he applies it to everyday life in this video voice project.

Nani Ke Kalo: group Project

Core lessons based on Hawaiian values are taught quarterly. In this video, a cohort of participants in Hoʻokuaʻāinaʻs Kūkuluhou Mentoring Program shares what the core value Nani Ke Kalo means to them through the lens of their own camera and interviews.

Testimonials

How I feel about myself, I feel better about myself because I feel more open I can talk to people that I can trust. I felt like no one really cared or really wanted me to talk out problems with. Now I see that most people who are trying to help me really care I just didn’t see it.

Jacob, 16

I feel good cause my mom them are more happy too and it makes me feel more good about myself. Like my mom them are happy that I’m doing good so I’m happy, I feel good.

Jayden, 16

I feel pretty connected and that’s why I try to do my best every time I come here. The first time I came I was like oh I have to jump in the mud. Now it’s like I want to do it. Learning more gives me a better perspective on how my ancestors did it and I should do it too. I think it goes back to teamwork too. I can work with people better. If you can’t work here you can’t work at the house we live at. It gives me a sense of peace every time I come here. I feel really good, when it’s completed you feel better.

Landon, 17

I feel like it’s a part of me, in a good way. It feels good just being in nature, even though I’m not Hawaiian I do Hawaiian things. It doesn’t matter that I’m not Hawaiian. I’ve learned to take care of my self, respecting others and peers. It helped us getting along with each other, talk story and finding out new things about each other, having fun

Shawn, 14

The hard work I’ve done changed the way I grant for things because I don’t just get things that I want I work hard to earn things that I want. This place changed me a lot because b4 I came here I was always lazy to do things and now that I keep coming here every Wednesday it motivates me to work very hard at other places that needs a lot of hard work to get things done. My hard work changed my relationships with others by communicating well and being happy with each other’s hard work. The hard work made me feel like I need to do this for a living because it is part of my culture.

Yeziki, 16

The hard work that I have done changed the way I feel about this place in a good way because when I first came I didn’t want to jump in at all, now I actually like jumping in to the lo’I because whenever we jump in and we complete work it gives us a sense of accomplishment and that feels good to know you worked hard to do something good. This place also help me with relationships with fellow peers. How? By communicating while working hard in the li’I patch

Amon, 17

I feel like I belong here cause then you’re always telling us that what we do we are making a difference. Like it’s not just we are growing it and it’s going no where it’s like going out to people all over the island. It lets me know that what I’m doing it’s helping other people out it’s not just going nowhere.

Akena, 17

I say it changed because like at first I kinda didn’t want to be here either but it’s like I’m giving back to people.

I’m Mexican, grew up only a little bit. I’m learning about Hawaiian culture so I want to learn more about my culture.

I say like I’m better with my attitude too cause at first I didn’t care about anything and now I want to get a job cause in the beginning I was just selling drugs to get my money and I’m actually working on the relationship with my mom.

Jesse, 15

It’s not my behavior that’s changed it’s my attitude that’s changed. I see more clear, I see things around me as happy instead sad, dark depressing, I’m not really depressed anymore. I’m more happy I want to do things I want to help out.

James, 15

I didn’t even like eating poi and now I love it.

I care more for myself and others, like I’m not just thinking everyday like F it. I think more like less impulsive.

Kaleb, 14

It’s important cause if you don’t respect yourself you’ll be all buss up and tired and you’re not going to like work or do nothing you’re just going to like smoke and stuff.

I wasn’t humble when I came, when I came around here I learned to be humble, I humbled myself.

I say this is the hardest work, being in the mud and stuff, some people don’t like being in the mud and stuff. My action speak louder than my words.

Noah, 16

If you have all the support around you, you can really get something done. As a team at the end of the day you’re going to be sore but that’s how you know you got something done. We went down this path as one.

Abe, 16

“I feel like I’m wanted here like this place means a lot cause people around over here helps me to do better for myself. I feel like I’m special here just being here my myself.

Cody, 16

find a program

find a program

Mentoring Program - Uncle Dean mentoring youth

KŪKULUHOU

mentoring

Internship Program - Seasonal Intern Cohort

KŪKULUHOU

Internship

Education Program - Intern working with school group

KUPUOHI

Grade K-12

ASA College Education Program - Cohort Participants with Lead Farm Manager

KUPUOHI

college

Community Program - Family Working in Lo'i Together

KAIĀULU

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Kalo Taro

kalo
taro

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

follow us

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail us

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

email us

Reach Us At:

info@hookuaaina.org

follow us

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

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