Our Mission

Ehuola is an interdisciplinary, culturally-based, prevention-focused project working to establish a strong foundation of health within the ʻohana and communal structure.

The program is designed to guide and assist Hawaiian families with incorporating ʻaipono and a way of living that honors our kūpuna, our ʻāina, and ourselves, and emphasizes Hawaiian cultural practice as primary preventative healthcare.


How It Works

Our families sign up for one year of programming, which includes monthly activities and ʻohana dinners, and fall and spring intersession events.  Through Ehuola, families explore our community food system and participate in family-centered workshops.  Previous workshops have included making ʻāina teas and salves, lomi aila (oil), vegetables pickles, and natural bug spray; laying net, catching and identifying fish, and kuʻi kalo; and ʻaipono planting, growing, preparing, and sharing.

Foundations

Participants focus on foundational concepts to inform their Ehuola experience.   

  • Kuleana - honoring the kuleana of our past, present, and future
  • Aloha Aku, Aloha Mai - expressing aloha with all of our words and actions
  • ʻIke Kūpuna - using the knowledge and practice of our ancestors to lead healthy lifestyles
  • Hoʻoikaika Kino - strengthening the body through daily physical activity
  • Mana ne, Mana Wahine - strengthening ourselves as kane and wahine to be the best that we can be

Pilina ʻEhā

(Four Connections)

Through learning Native Hawaiian practice, participants are able to develop four key relationships:

  • Connection to Place - to have a kinship with ʻāina
  • Connection to Others - to love and be loved; to understand and be understoof
  • Connection to Past and Future - to have kuleana; a purpose in the world
  • Connection to Better Self - to find and know yourself

808 Jr. Chef Showdown

For the past three years, the Ehuola Program has enrolled teams in the 808 Jr. Chef Showdown, a Kalihi-based youth cooking competition.  Many different Kalihi agencies participate, including the YMCA, Palama Settlement, and the Towers at Kuhio Park.  Teams are issued a "key ingredient" in advance, and on the day of the competition, the keiki have one hour to prepare and plate a dish with no outside assistance.  A panel of judges then rates the dish for flavor, presentation, and more.

We're please to say that Ehuola teams have been top ranked for all three years of participation, taking 2nd place in their first year, 1st place in their second year, and in year three, Ehuola's two teams, Mauka and Makai, won 1st place and "Best Nutrition" respectively.

But even more importantly, we're immensely proud of how Team Ehuola represents their Hawaiian heritage.  In the 2016 competition, Teams Mauka and Makai brought papa and pohaku kui ai and, during the hectic preparation hour, pounded kalo in the traditional way.  When it was time to reveal their dishes, Team Mauka presented the judges with Hawaiian chicken stew with ʻōlena, kalo paʻa, and ʻuala, with a side of hand-made poi.  Team Makai created a Hawaiian chicken stir fry featuring traditional vegetables such as hoʻiʻo, palula, and lau pele, which they themselves harvested from Hoʻoulu ʻĀina Nature Park, alongside a fresh paʻiʻai patty.

Our Ehuola keiki have been an inspiration for other participants in the Jr. Chef Showdown, and Roots is currently working with our neighbor organizations to help their team proudly represent their heritages too, at next year's competition.  Āʻōāū