The Molokai Farmers Alliance, along with Hawaiian homestead organizations statewide, recently completed a video project, “Building Bridges Together,” which profiles Hawaiian homestead communities through the residents who live there.
The project was coordinated and produced by Hui Mana, a group of Hawaiian Homestead leaders. It is now being distributed to all Hawaiian homestead associations statewide.
Among the Hui Mana volunteers was Lynn DeCoite, perhaps best known as a Ho’olehua sweet potato farmer at L&R Farms. She is also president of the Molokai Farmers Alliance.
“You will see the challenges, accomplishments, and the pride and gratefulness expressed by homesteaders and their ‘ohana, as they recount their past and share their great hope for the future generations,” said project coordinator Mele Spencer.
The goal of the project was to encourage residents within the Hawaiian homestead communities to support and engage in their local associations. “Thus, ‘Building Bridges Together’ was to instill in our homesteaders the concept of, ‘Hui Mana – Together with Power,” Spencer said.
All Hawaiian homestead associations, both residential and agricultural, from Hawai’i Island, Maui, Moloka’i and O’ahu, were invited to participate to share their projects, ideas, historical background, and ways for communities to improve working together.
Hui Mana was a collaborative effort of the many Hawaiian homestead associations, their volunteer leaders, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaii HomeOwnership Center, and NeighborWorks® America. Funding for the project was provided by NeighborWorks® America, Hawaii HomeOwnership Center, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and OHA Trustees, Bob Lindsey and Rowena Akana.
John Kaohelaulii concluded, “In the homestead community, our greatest resource is our people. Getting them involved in community projects and their homestead organizations is the key to our future. Make a difference today, because tomorrow is too late.’’
For more information, contact John Kaohelaulii at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mele Spencer at email@example.com, or any team member.