Nā ‘Ōiwi Kāne

Nā ‘Ōiwi Kāne (“The Native Men”) is a Hawai‘i non-profit corporation established to benefit the Native Hawaiian people. Although its vision statement calls for a broader purview, the initial emphasis of the programs of Nā ‘Ōiwi Kāne has been to work with youth, especially those who are identified as living in fatherless households.

Native Hawaiian boys and girls frequently do not have a male role model in their households during their formative years. For the boys, this leads to an inability of becoming contributing adult males in society. For the girls, with no example of how a responsible male should interact favorably with his spouse, they have no understanding of what a mature relationship with a man should look like. In a recent study, the Hawaiian population was pegged at 19.7% of the total population in the State of Hawai‘i, but found that an average of 27.1% of the children living in “Female households with children, no husband present” in the state were Native Hawaiian; with some communities having even higher percentages of fatherless Native Hawaiian families (East Hawai‘i island 32.2%, Honolulu 33%, Wai‘anae 31%). In 2006, Nā ‘Ōiwi Kāne funded a study aimed at designing a program to address this problem and, in 2008, we funded a pilot project, similar to the Big Brothers program, with mature, culturally sensitive, Native Hawaiian males paired with identified Native Hawaiian boys and girls who live in fatherless households. This project was conducted at Laupahoehoe on Hawai‘i island with favorable results.

 

To see more, go to www.jtsii.net and hit the “Corporate Profile” tab, then the green “button” which refers to Nā ‘Ōiwi Kāne. On the new screen, check out our pilot project and its two programs at Program 1: Planting Coffee and Air Layering and Program 2: Saddle Making. A similar program has been launched on the Wai‘ anae Coast of O‘ahu in the summer of 2009.

 

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