What Is Kinai ʻEha?
Kinai `Eha translated from Hawaiian means “To Extinguish Pain.” Kinai ‘Eha aims to provide an alternative education option to ‘ōpio (youth) that are in need of and seeking purpose, personal empowerment, education, Hawaiian cultural identity and connection, workforce training in construction and the trades, community service and leadership.
Kinai ‘Eha intends to disrupt the Pathway to Prison that begins with ʻōpio that have dropped out of high school and who have been unsuccessful in the traditional public school system. Kinai ʻEha is committed to addressing the toughest issues facing our ʻōpio through intensive and customized values-based, trauma informed, Hawaiian culture-based and vocational knowledge and skill development.
Curated Staff & Programs
The staff, schedule, programs, services and partnerships are carefully curated to ensure that the Kinai ʻEha learner outcomes can be achieved and the ʻōpio’s optimal potential and performance can be realized.
Acknowledging and being sensitive to the fact that all of the Kinai ʻEha participants come to the program with various levels of trauma, the ʻōpio and their parents/caregivers (if possible) participate in an ACE’s assessment. Each learner also receives a comprehensive assessment to identify strengths, weaknesses and learning differences.
The assessments also seek to identify developmental, neurological, or medical problems that might hinder the ability to learn in school, work, and throughout life.
Outcomes: Connection, Direction, Truth, Attitude and Gratitude
Long Term: Values Focused and Purpose Driven Lives (Kinai ʻEha)
17-year-old Kona Wright’s drug addiction put him out on the street. That’s how he’s lived for years: homeless and looking for a way out. “When I was under ice it blocked out a lot of memories that I never like think about,” said Wright. “It blocked out a lot of what a lot of people call excuses or reasons to get angry.
“Whatever our goal is we’ll get there,” said Alaka’i, a student with Kinai ʻEha, “We just can’t forget where our roots are. We are Native Hawaiians and we will do whatever we set our minds to.”
“These certifications give them confidence. A lot of confidence to know that they can do this work and learn things that school is supposed to train them for out in the field,” said Kinai ʻEha founder and executive director Josiah Akau. “And not only does it build confidence it also makes them employable.”