The design of this project provided the opportunity to offer a unique youth mentorship program and give a voice to youth's vision for the future of our ocean. To this end, Kai Makana is also committed to working with youth and developing their value-based leadership skills. These youth may then enhance their interaction with their families and communities, as well as play an active role in preserving our ocean environment.
In 2001, Kai Makana launched I Ola Na Kai Youth Mentorship Program. The program is culturally based and was designed with the assistance of the leadership and staff of the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center and research team. Kai Makana worked with a team of 12 outstanding youth from key communities in Hawaii who were accepted for this leadership training. The program was designed to not only nurture their development as ethical caring leaders, but also to encourage their active participation in protecting, preserving, and caring for our ocean environment.
Kai Makana's youth mentorship program was divided into three segments. The first segment provided the youth with guidance as they begin their life long discovery of who they are. The curriculum emphasized value-based learning and educated these students on the cultural protocol necessary for the youth exchange component. The second segment involved community-based watershed management projects, navigation instruction, archeology, and stream restoration projects. The third segment involved applying their knowledge in a cultural and ocean education youth exchange in Tahiti.
Upon completion of the program, each participant was responsible for creating and implementing a Mentorship Community Impact Project. These projects provided awareness of the necessity of taking care of our environment and demonstrated the positive effect our youth had on their communities. Kai Makana educators, mentors, and volunteers, as well as each student's individual volunteers, assisted the youths in designing their impact project.
The international cultural and environmental exchange helped Hawaii's youth explore themselves, value who they are, and discover what they can do with greater clarity and confidence. These students were able to share water-quality testing and experiences in Rapa Nui, as well as Hawaii and the continental United States, via the World Wide Web link. This expanded their knowledge and supported the fact that no matter where we live, we are all connected by water and the need to take care of it.
Kai Makana conducted its first Rapa Nui Youth Mentorship Program in 2006 to 2007 and determined it was the most culturally and environmentally connected as students were able to test the water quality of Hawai'i in comparison with that of Tahiti and Rapa Nui. In addition, students were able to grasp the understanding of how we, as Polynesians are intertwined with nature as well as similarities in language - i.e. Hawaiian, Tahitian and Rapa Nui.
RAPA NUI 20010/2011 Kai Makana's I Ola Na Kai Youth Mentorship Program will begin accepting applications from students ages 12 - 18 in October of 2009 and will close 2010. The program will officially begin in March 2010 and end March 2011.
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|Kai Makana is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, established in 1997, to provide volunteer, in-kind, and financial support for marine wildlife conservation and education.|
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