Month: October 2017


Community Service Program of the Month

School: University of Hawai`i at Manoa Region: PACURH
Person in charge: Mikala Fernandez Nominator: Mikala Fernandez

Target Population: 30 Time Needed to Organize: 2 Weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 15 Date(s) of Program: October 7, 2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 2 Cost of Program: $0
On-Campus Population: 3,450 Chapter Size: 34

Origin of Program:

This program was developed from the importance of taking care of the land to the Hawaiian people and culture. This practice is known as Mālama 'Āina (to care for the land).

When thinking of a program that was related to the Hawaiian culture, Resident Assistant (RA) Mikala Fernandez, thought back to the Hawaiian values and proverb of ‘olelo no'eau "he ali'i ka 'aina, he kaua ke kanaka." This means the land is the chief and the people are its servants. Taking care of the land is an important part of the Hawaiian culture. The Hawaiian story of Haloa depicts the idea that he is the older brother and man is the younger brother. This explains that the land provides for the people and the people take care and respect the land. RA Mikala felt that this was an important lesson for the residents to learn and embody as a community. Through this, the program Leleahina was created with collaboration from Native Hawaiian Student Services for the Native Hawaiian Residential Learning Program (RLP).

Word Count: 172

Please give a short description of the program:

Leleahina was a community service program held in the town in Kaneohe, which is on the other side of the island from the main University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. This program was a collaboration between Student Housing and Native Hawaiian Student Service. Native Hawaiian Student Services was able to provide a bus that transported the residents and other students from the college to the community service site.

When the residents arrived at the Leleahina Heiau (Hawaiian temple) they experienced Hawaiian protocol. Hawaiian protocol includes traditional chants and cultural customs in order to welcome people into a new space while asking permission to be in the space. The caretakers of the land told a little back story on the area and explained that it was a heiau that was used by the Hawaiians for agricultural reasons as well as a ceremonial burial.

After this the residents were split into groups and began clearing out the heiau by cutting trees, clearing rocks, weeding, and putting extra branches in the compost. After all of it was done the caretakers expressed their thankfulness and explained how important taking care of the land was, and that it is crucial for the sustainability of the land but also for keeping Hawaiian culture abundant. The group then cleaned up and returned to campus. This was an all-encompassing program that included service but also provided cultural context for the residents in attendance.

Word Count: 235

Goals of the program:

The goal of this program was to give residents the opportunity to contribute to the community here in Hawaii, whether they are from the mainland or they are from Hawaii. Through this experience not only did the resident get to give back to their community but they also left with better understanding of Hawaiian culture and values.

In addition, the program gave residents the opportunity to visit and learn about a heaiu and its cultural importance to the Hawaiian people and culture. This program gave residents a perspective on what they can do to better take care of the land that we live on and all of the value that it has. This really incorporated the import for residents to Mālama 'Āina (to care for the land) every chance they get.

Word Count: 131

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

The residents received an experience that is unique to Hawaii. Leleahina, the heiau being maintained, is a very special place and one of the very few heiaus left in Hawaii. This experience built a community with all of those in attendance and is a part of the Native Hawaiian community on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus.

The program also encourages the residents to get more involved in the community they are living in by taking care of the things that they have and the land that they are now living on. This is cultural experience that only doing community service at Leleahina can offer. All participants were able to walk away and reflect on this experience and utilize the cultural context in their everyday life living in Hawaii.

Word Count: 130

Short evaluation of the program:

Overall, the program was well received by all the residents in attendance, and the caretakers at the Leleahina Heiau. It was hard at first recruiting residents to come and do hard labor, but once at the heiau it felt like we were just working to build community and not really doing hard labor.

The residents got to experience a piece of Hawaiian culture and also benefitted themselves by contributing and meeting others in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa community. Those who participated in the program, left with a broader perspective than when they came in. There is something about working on the land that gives you this feeling that our earth takes care of us and holds so much value not only to our health but to who we are as people.

Word Count: 134

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This program could be adapted to other campuses by getting resident students out of the campus and building community by working together to make a difference. This could be anything from cleaning graffiti off of walls or making a mural that depicts the community.

This program was about instilling values and finding cultural identity by taking care of what we have. In addition, this program could also be adapted by doing community service on the campus so that the residents take pride in where they are studying and really emphasize the importance of taking care of where you live. Ideally you are able to find a place in your community of importance or personal connection.

Word Count: 116

Date of entry into database: 2017-11-07 17:39:58

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