Sep 24, 2015
2015 Phase 2 Ward Village Foundation Recipients
Two years ago, with a mission to build a greater community right here in Honolulu, the Ward Village Foundation was born.
In the ensuing years, fueled by their desire to support forward-thinking visionaries looking to tackle some of the island's biggest problems, the nonprofit foundation has doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money to a bevy of different organizations tirelessly working to better our city, address our problems, and move us all forward. With that in mind, the Ward Village Foundation is pleased to announce and congratulate the 2015 Phase 2 recipients:
It's no secret that we're privy to some of the worst traffic in the nation here in O'ahu. While communities like Ward are built to be walkable, bike sharing is a concept that holds huge potential for Honolulu. At the forefront of the pedal movement is Bikeshare Hawaii, a nonprofit committed to getting Honolulu out of their cars and onto bikes. How does it work, you may ask? As a combined effort from the city and state, as well as contributions from the private sector, Bikeshare Hawaii is quite literally redefining how we commute. Through a network of stands equipped with specially designed bikes, people in the city can pick up and drop off bikes at a wealth of locations (plans are to have 2,000 bikes and 200 stations between Diamond Head and Chinatown) for a nominal fee, cutting down on traffic, encouraging exercise, and connecting neighborhoods.
Dedicated to supporting academics and fostering a relationship with Native Hawaiian culture, Mana Maoli is another Honolulu-based nonprofit literally shaping the future of the city through the keiki they educate. At its core, Mana Maoli strives to support the youth of Hawaii through their public charter school, Hālau Kū Māna, their Maoli Music Program, Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy, which, at its essence, teaches students the art of celestial navigation and the importance and understanding of the intricacies of the canoe in Polynesian culture. Their mission is simple:
Ho`okumu, Ho`okele, Ho`omana, a system that empowers the youth of Hawaii to make real world changes in their local, regional, and global communities.
By restoring the connection between the community and the land, Kako'o 'Oiwi's mission is to perpetuate the cultural and spiritual practices of Native Hawaiians. Along the Windward side of O'ahu stands a special slice of wetland, known as Hoi, that was historically used to grow wetland kalo, which sustained Native Hawaiians for centuries. However, by the mid 19th century, as sugarcane and cattle began to dominate Hawaii's agricultural economies, this special land was churned and misshapen, leading to a host of problems including erosion, flooding, and a longstanding battle over water rights. The land, which totals more than 400 acres, is now under the jurisdiction of the Hawaii Community Development Association (HCDA) who has partnered with Kako'o 'Oiwi—who has a 38-year lease on the area—to reclaim the wetland as a place to grow food, perpetuate Native Hawaiian Culture, and strengthen the local community.
The Pacific Asian Affairs Council, more commonly known as PAAC, has been integral in developing an appreciation of understanding of foreign relations, and the role our islands can play, to Hawaii's youth since the 1950s. By understanding that, in today's interconnected global world, we can accomplish so much more when we better understand today's foreign affairs, PAAC is grooming Hawaii's young people to better serve the world. Since their inception in 1954, the organization has provided global education to 82,450 high school students, 107,300 college students, and 82,950 community members statewide. They've also hosted approximately 930 international visitors through the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program and consistently work with the University of Hawai'i's East West Center.
For more than 25 years, the Pacific Resource for Education and Learning (PREL) has been unyielding in their commitment to provide resources and improved educational opportunities to the myriad of islands and communities that call the Pacific home. Whether it's through support of existing schools or partnering with communities to engage and educate their citizens, PREL is there. Although they may be based in Honolulu, PREL holds offices in Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. With an understanding that each culture in the Pacific can require a different technique when it comes to learning, PREL takes a great deal of pride in their ability to adapt and promote the positive effects of mathematics, science, literacy, early childhood education, standards and assessment, workforce development, as well as teacher and leadership development. At the end of the day, we all know that knowledge is the crucial ingredient in building a better world; without it, nothing else is possible. Ward Village is thrilled to support PREL in their endeavors to build a better Pacific through better education.
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