So much has changed in our world since our last newsletter. It’s interesting how we can feel so far away yet so connected at the same time. I hope you have kept safe and stayed connected with the ones who matter the most in the safest possible way. We missed seeing the many faces we were hoping to see in person this summer. During this time we’ve been working strategically to listen to the needs of our Maui Hui Malama ‘ohana, our larger community, and our world. There have been so many things we’ve wanted to say, but instead we’ve opted for action.

COVID-19 has changed the way we deliver services. It has been difficult in some ways and yet has allowed us to reach out to even more keiki! We helped those who had difficulty with finalizing their school year with one-onone online tutoring, computers, and internet access. We expanded our summer activities to online junctures while delivering class supplies to the doorstep of each person who wanted to join us. Summer art classes with Kumu Noble were in person with each keiki having their own pop up art tent to participate in as we social distanced. Food continues to be delivered to the curbs of our Maui Hui Malama families for basic needs kokua during these times. Masks have been provided to our families in addition to our local frontline workers at Maui Memorial Hospital (along with notes of gratitude from our keiki). Older youth have done community service projects and passed their GED exams!

In the midst of this, we have recognized that we need to not just say, “Black lives matter,” but live it. In our “I am an Everyday Hero” class, keiki learned the stories of great heroes like Harriet Tubman, Gandhi, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King Jr., while having conversations on how they, too, can be heroes in today’s world. We at Maui Hui Malama would like to continue our journey in innovative education that aligns our Hawaiian culture and values with, and for, the voices of our black ‘ohana.

As the school year comes fast and furious, we have been listening to the social media groups, the direct emails, as well as the community, to assess the needs people have in order to best help them overcome the barriers to education that have been presented to them in these unprecedented times. The choice of your educational route is yours, and we’d like to expand our Liko program, which helps students who need additional assistance in their educational journey, to those with health issues that make it difficult to follow their school’s protocols.

Every child is unique, and every child deserves an education that works for them. If COVID has made the educational journey hard to navigate alone, feel free to look at our website for more information and to apply for services.

These times have many lessons for us. We here at Maui Hui Malama want to thank you, our ‘ohana and our community, for the continued support of our little green house on the hill.

Chelsie Evans
Executive Director