U.S. Army, Nā Kama Kai partnership to support Keiki Aloha, Kai Aloha youth program

| May 1, 2018 | 0 Comments
Col. Stephen Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii watches as Nā Kama Kai CEO and founder Duane DeSoto signs the memorandum of understanding. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Col. Stephen Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii watches as Nā Kama Kai CEO and founder Duane DeSoto signs the memorandum of understanding. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

WAI‘ANAE, Hawai‘i — Nā Kama Kai will have a new home at Pōka‘i Bay, also known as Nene‘u, thanks to U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, which oversees the Pilila‘au Army Recreation Center (PARC).

Beginning last month, the U.S. Army is permitting Nā Kama Kai to occupy the Harvey House to enhance the health, safety and enjoyment of the military and the Wai‘anae community.

Nā Kama Kai CEO and founder Duane DeSoto addresses the audience before signing the memorandum of understanding. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Nā Kama Kai CEO and founder Duane DeSoto addresses the audience before signing the memorandum of understanding. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Hālau Nā Kama Kai at Harvey House will be a vibrant source of mentorship and kuleana-based ocean education.

“Our mission is to empower our youth through ocean education, through culture, ocean safety, and to make them respect their community and themselves,” said Nā Kama Kai CEO and founder Duane DeSoto. “It’s important that we empower our babies, our success is about where our babies end up as adults.”

Nā Kama Kai will staff the facility and offer a wide range of ocean-based and Hawaiian cultural activities to further its mission and develop future stewards of the kai (ocean) and ‘āina (land). The programs, a portion of which will be reserved solely for military families, will connect the keiki (children) of Hawai‘i with the kai (sea) to nurture a deep sense of aloha and kuleana (responsibility) for their natural environment and themselves.

Through the partnership, children will be offered a wide range of ocean-based and Hawaiian cultural activities. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Through the partnership, children will be offered a wide range of ocean-based and Hawaiian cultural activities. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

“The stars began to align for this vision one year ago, and this is such a special, special location,” said Col. Stephen Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, referencing the area’s history as a place for learning traditional values and practices. “It’s very fitting today as we partner with Nā Kama Kai that they too will use this location as a place of learning.”

Built on a foundation of Hawaiian values, culture and environmental education, Nā Kama Kai’s programs are designed to increase youth awareness of ocean safety while instilling personal responsibility for the environment stewardship. Programing will include ocean safety instruction and preparedness; voyaging and wayfinding; conservation awareness and environmental preservation; contemporary Hawaiian wahi pana (history and story) and practices (arts and education); healthy food choice; alternative learning; lifeguard, lifesaving and CPR classes; and ocean recreation activities and lessons such as surfboard shaping, wa‘a (Outrigger canoeing) surfing, kūhoe (standup paddling), surf lessons, and canoe sailing.

Glen Kila and Albert Silva look at a historical photo of the Harvey House. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Glen Kila and Albert Silva look at a historical photo of the Harvey House. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

“Nā Kama Kai understands the immense value of the ocean environment, its vast resources and its relationship to the land,” DeSoto said. “Our motto, “keiki aloha kai aloha” (beloved child, beloved sea), is a constant reminder of our kuleana to our youth and our island home. A heartfelt mahalo to the U.S. Army for sharing in our vision and this kuleana.”

• Resources

Review still and video event images at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1KPd2UrjI1xT867cUI6XU7YdSu1AFrM5_.

• About Nā Kama Kai

Founded in 2008, Nā Kama Kai is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth by creating, conducting and supporting ocean-based programs, specifically targeting ocean safety and conservation awareness to increase the capacity of youth in the community through Hawaiian values, culture and environmental education. Every year, Nā Kama Kai reaches thousands of children ages 2-18 and is the only program in the State of Hawai‘i to offer free youth ocean safety education to address one of the leading causes of death for youth, drowning.

Attendees gather for a group photo. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Attendees gather for a group photo. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

• About U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawai‘i (USAG-HI) is responsible for the infrastructure and operations of Army installations in Hawai‘i. The USAG-HI team manages and maintains facilities, roads, utilities, airfields and housing, and provides military and family services for more than 95,000 Soldiers, retirees, civilians and families across 22 military installations and training areas on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island. These installations include Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Fort Shafter, Tripler Army Medical Center, and Pōhakuloa Training Area.

Col. Stephen Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, participates in the ceremonial planting of the hau tree. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

Col. Stephen Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, participates in the ceremonial planting of the hau tree. (Photo by Kayla Overton, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs)

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Category: Army Community Covenant, Community Relations, Leadership, News, Safety

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