Categorized | Health

OHA grant supports West Hawaii Fatherhood Initiative

MEDIA RELEASE

Family Support Hawaii has been awarded a $60,241 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to support Na Makuakane Maikai O Hawaii — Great Fathers of Hawaii.

This fatherhood initiative was designed to increase father involvement in the lives of children and promote responsible fathering practices. This fills a gap that has been missing for decades in Hawaii’s social service network.

Fathers are an often overlooked resource in the healing of our community’s problems.

The Fatherhood Initiative assists fathers and fathers-to-be with mentoring, education and support by providing direct services, classes, group meetings and family activities using Hawaiian values and cultural practices.

The program is based on the Native Hawaiian concept of ohana which acknowledges the spiritual, emotional and physical responsibilities of a family and its relationship to community.

The program strengthens the role of the father in the household and with his children by introducing the values of Kuleana, Haahaa, Lokomaikai, Malama and Lokahi.

Kauila Ho, one of Na Makuakane’s Father Facilitators, said, “It has been through the awareness and support of all our community partners who understand the benefit to children, of a positive father role model, that has encouraged our growth. We serve as a lifeboat for fathers in an ocean of services for mothers and children, and encourage them to be strong role models for their families. Our biggest measure of success is when fathers who have been through the program recognize a dad in need and personally refer them to Na Makuakane Maikai O Hawaii.”

FSH Executive Director, Paki Story, said: “We are very honored and humbled to receive this award from OHA, as well as the support we have received over many years. This grant will allow us to continue serving the fathers of Hawaii Island at a time when the need is so critical because of the economy, high unemployment rate, and the reduction of services available to families. We see this as much needed support for Hawaii’s families.”

For more information on this grant or other services provided by Family Support Hawaii, call 326-7778.

Founded in 1979 by members of the community who were concerned about the life-long consequences of child abuse and neglect, Family Support Hawaii is a non-profit 501(c)(3) agency that offers a multitude of programs that touch nearly every facet of family life on the Big Island. This past year, FSH provided direct support to more than 3,500 families through its programs.

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