ʻAuwai- A Pathway of Education & Entrepreneurship Programs

“Love, respect and the willingness to work.”

 —Uncle William Aila, Sr.

What is the 21st Century ʻAuwai?

Across many generations of working the ʻāina, our kūpuna have bequeathed us the abundance of our ahupuaʻa and moku. These ancestors worked diligently to enhance the natural waterways, building ʻauwai that intentionally managed precious fresh water within the ahupuaʻa to ensure that the people and the ʻaina flourished.

Extending from the poʻowai, the headwaters, to the muliwai, the nearshore estuaries, the ʻauwai is a key organizing principle of our people, weaving producers of our crops and the caretakers of our fisheries into a sophisticated and abundant closed-loop community food system that linked people to the ʻāina through a practice.

To affirm the resiliency of our ancestral frameworks, our work organizes our educational and entrepreneurial programs to the ʻauwai principle. We have linked our ʻāina resources and communities of practice to create a contemporary ʻauwai, a pathway for our youth, that starts from the poʻowai of pre-natal care, through to primary, secondary and post-secondary pathways that end at the muliwai of pono, living wage, & sustainable employment.

Farm To Fork Program

Keiki to Kupuna ʻĀina-Based Education

Farm To Fork (F2F) strives to create an intentional, high-quality educational experience for everyone through a dynamic, hands-on, and experiential interaction with the ʻāina- that which feeds. F2F nurtures a connection of youth to their food by introducing them to the farmers who grow their food and sharing how their food is grown. Each visit offers our visitors an interactive tour of MAʻO Organic Farms, a hands-on educational activity to learn about organic and sustainable farming practices, and a nutrition-based lesson and food tasting to help connect participants to what the ʻāina provides. Educational visits are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Visit Farm To Fork

MAʻO YLT and the Kauhale Enterprise

For Ages 17 - 24 & Associate Degree Seekers

The YLT is a 2-year farm to college program that invests in our youth who are our waiwai, our most valuable asset and connect them to their community to instill in their kuleana and responsibility to of malama ʻāina, all while earning a college degree, an educational stipend, and contributing positively to the local community food system. All interns making good progress in their leadership program are also eligible to participate in an Individual Development Account matched savings program.

The Kauhale Enterprise is a MAʻO collaborative partnership with Waiʻanae High School’s Searider Productions and their for-profit spinoff Mākaha Studios. MAʻO expanded its Youth Leadership Training to include a digital media edu-preneurial internship at Searider Productions and Mākaha Studios in which the digital arts provides a venue from which the ancestral practice of moʻolelo or storytelling to take root in a 21st century context. The Digital Media Youth Leadership Training empowers youth to utilize their storytelling knowledge and expertise to further our vision and mission: restoration of our ancestral abundance in perpetuity for the prosperity of the Waiʻanae moku and Hawaiʻi nei.

The Kauhale also produces the Spring Break and Fall Break Youth Leadership Training for high school students. These are important opportunities to plant the seeds in the minds of youth that idea that college partnered with meaningful community work is not only possible but, necessary to be successful. High school students are selected to participate in a week long internship where youth are introduced to college knowledge, preparatory seminars coupled with instruction in professional knowledge and skill sets in the trades of organic agriculture and digital media.

Visit Searider Productions

Visit Makaha Studios

 Hoʻowaiwai Youth Leadership Training

Available to MA‘O and Kauhale YLT graduates and pursuing a Bachelors Degree

The Hoʻowaiwai Youth Leadership Training (HYLT) is an internship program designed to facilitate continued leadership development after youth have completed the YLT program. The HYLT works to continue nurturing and strengthening our youth’s personal, academic and professional capacity through specialized engagement in the organizational operations as well by assigning special asset building projects to complete. Interns are assigned to a staff mentor with whom they work collaboratively to accomplish the assigned tasks and overall project goals. All students are required to participate in an Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings program to be used for their educational needs, and concurrently be enrolled college students working actively toward a 4-year degree. Upon completion of the internship, all students are eligible to apply for a position in a specially designed externship developed in collaboration with several community organizations, including the Kamehameha Schools Community Learning Centers in Nānākuli and Māʻili, the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu, Mākaha Studios, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Apprenticeships & Externships

Available to HYLT graduates or on a case by case basis