Hui Malama is the only agency on Maui that provides an integrated combination of personalized social, health and wellness, academic and work-readiness activities for at-risk youth. Hui Malama conducts in-depth and comprehensive assessments, school and medical records, and caregiver input to design customized personal plans to address each participant’s unique strengths, needs and experiences.

Picking fresh herbs from our garden

In 2011, Hui Malama expanded its approach to address the whole person, including health and wellness, character development, life skills, and workforce preparedness as core components. Hui Malama organizes experiences around varied experiences including Whole Foods Nutrition, Culinary Arts, and Garden; Career Development and Work Force Preparedness Classes/Excursions; Careers in Science and Natural Resource/Cultural Management; Compassion and Character Development. Our youth plan, build and maintain gardens and are mentored by local farmers. Participation in events to educate the community about the connections between food, culture, health and the environment are mandatory for each youth and their families.

In life skills, workforce readiness and character development activities, participants learn how to listen, observe and follow directions, dress appropriately, arrive at work prepared, show initiative and discipline, deal with conflict, and manage disappointment while never giving up. They are also able to meet and talk with members of the Maui community who represent a wide range of occupations and are provided with opportunities to participate in job shadowing mentorships.

Daily chores

Hui Malama collaborates with many community organizations, services and resources to inspire and empower caregivers to once again believe in the capability and potential of their children. Public school students and their caregivers, counselors, and community partners often come to Hui Malama after being turned away from other educational or service institutions. Other providers recognize Hui Malama for effectively identifying and coordinating services so that youth facing complex circumstances can achieve stability and rebuild their capacity to achieve success at home, post high school, and at work and in their community.

Hui Malama strives to ensure that each participant experiences success in a values-driven environment where they feel safe and valued. These experiences of doing and learning empower our youth by building foundations through which they acquire knowledge and skills that they are later able to apply to other aspects of their lives. Working with others to achieve success inspires participants to continue building their unique strengths so they may realize their potential and thrive in adulthood.

With a solid foundation of an aloha mindset, motivation, integrity and habits of mind, participants are inspired to explore different careers that can contribute to Maui’s social, cultural, economic and environmental health for future generations. Our overarching goal is to build caring, compassionate, disciplined workers who will be valuable contributors at home, at school, at work and in community. We strive to ensure that each participant is equipped for continued improvement and growth in work and in life through developing an understanding and appreciation of the Aloha Spirit as defined by Hawaii Revised Statutes §5-7.5 as the coordination of mind and heart, which “brings each person to the self” and allows each person to think and emote good feelings to others.

After participating in Hui Malama’s services, participants show improvement in the following areas:

  • Ability to understand and honor perspectives that conflict with their own;
  • Increased ability to regulate their emotions and express their disappointment in a socially acceptable and respectful way;
  • Increased accountability;
  • Taking direction without challenging, criticizing, evading, ignoring authority;
  • Exhibiting appropriate physical space and interactions within a professional context; and
  • Proper etiquette (addressing people properly in word, tone, gesture).

The Aloha Spirit is a powerful tool within our community for directing and motivating positive change and development for both native participants and non-native participants.