Kamehameha Schools has opened a new community hale in Līhuʻe to broaden its reach into Kauaʻi and Niʻihau communities.
The new space – a consolidation of two former Kamehameha offices – will house a four person regional team, two ʻohana engagement team members and three counselors. The counselors will focus on post-secondary efforts, two through the Kamehameha Scholars community education program. Kamehameha Scholars received national recognition earlier this year for the counseling curriculum it uses to help public and private high school students attain their higher education goals.
“Our Kamehameha Schools Community Hale here on Kauaʻi is important for so many reasons,” said KS Regional Director for Kauaʻi and Niʻihau Buffy Ofisa. “Besides it being a facility and foundation with some roots planted here that say ‘Kauaʻi, we’re not going anywhere,’ I also see it as a gathering place for our community. It’s not just offices, it’s not just a place where you come and fill out forms and turn them in, but I’d like it to be busy all the time with activities involving the community and our collaborators.”
Prior to the Sept. 16 blessing ceremony, KS partnered with Hui Ho‘omalu Partners in Development Foundation to provide family-friendly activities for young keiki currently in foster care or recently placed with adoptive parents. The two organizations will continue to collaborate on raising awareness of services for children and families across Kauaʻi, said Monica Kaʻauwai, of Hui Hoʻomalu.
Iwalani Kaʻauwai-Herrod, administrator for Child Welfare Services on Kauaʻi, also welcomes opportunities for collaboration. “We’re very happy to partner with Kamehameha Schools because we have many children who are of Native Hawaiian descent in our foster care system. We’d really love for these children to have the opportunities that Kamehameha Schools can provide for all of our keiki. The center will be a great asset for our community.”
The community hale is located in the center of Līhuʻe at 3201 Akahi Street.