Hapa Mana is a 501(c)(3) non profit athletics club that acts more as a community outreach program. We partner with like minded community groups focusing on homeless and low income keiki. We are community-forward thinkers for sure. It is our name! Hapa is Hawaiian for mix or integrate and Mana is Polynesian for spirit, aura, or power. Our mission is to help bring together (Hapa) as much of society as possible through the bond sports creates to break the boundaries class creates. Hapa Mana creates access to free sports camps and free after school athletic programs with the ultimate goal to make free competitive teams across Oahu. We believe the benefits of a healthy physical lifestyle are essential to success. Hapa Mana combines sports with “Life Lessons” presented by mentors and educators to create foundation building experiences that will help our keiki to achieve their future goals. We currently have partnerships with Kunia Village Development Corporation, the Institute for Human Services, Rise Above, L3C, Challenge Island Oahu, and Pure Transformation Fitness.
Kunia Village is a low-income housing community with a gymnasium on the property to which Hapa Mana has keys. We throw monthly camps and weekly afterschool basketball, and Taekwondo every other week.
The Institute of Human Services runs a homeless shelter and a transitional housing community. They drive their kids to camps, and we provide their afterschool programs. Kahauiki Village is a transitional housing for homeless families. We hold a weekly tennis program at Kahauiki Village and a weekly Kid Fit that alternates between IHS and Kahauiki Village.
Rise Above, L3C is an independent education services and consulting company. They are donating their services to our Sunday camps and weekly programs as their schedule permits.
Challenge Island Oahu is a STEAM organization. They teach engineering through nature and art. They come to our camps and also contribute to afterschool programming.
Pure Transformation Fitness is my local, small training business.
We also work with Hawaii Pacific Health. We volunteer at health fairs and many of their staff volunteer at our weekend camps.
We have also held camps at Waianae High School. They would like to partner with us, but we lack the funds to provide programming on a regular basis.
Youth athletics in the US is now a $15 billion a year industry. This inevitably leaves out many. We strive to bring the same opportunities afforded to affluent children to children in more poverty-stricken areas. Aside from helping to combat income inequality, we also intend to reduce access inequality to underrepresented children by opening the doors of opportunity through broad community engagement.
The weekday in-school programs we are requesting funds for would focus on Waianae, Nanakuli, Kalihi, the Institute for Human Services, and anywhere else we may find the need. The goal is to help integrate all of society physically, economically, and spiritually! Our weekend camps will remain volunteer based.
We have also been in talks with places like the Ice Palace, Palama Settlement, The Oahu Club, and the Honolulu Club to hold rotating camps. We plan to transport our kids to places they otherwise would not go. We would also do beach and park clean-ups with the kids. We already have kids from all over the island coming to Kunia. With more funding, we could offer a larger program that could cover more kids that we could then introduce through events all through the aloha ohana mana of Hapa Mana!
We teach a Five Step Process to our kids, also considered to be the Five Traits or Characteristics of Successful People. The steps and traits include: Vision, Strategy, Belief, Persistence, and Learning. These characteristics, along with our “Life Lessons Through Sports,” are highly emphasized and the basis for the development of our programs and curricula. The Life Lessons are: Hapa: Integrate—meet people; introduce yourself to other kids; invite the “left out” kids into our group; participate in society!H Aloha Aina:Love of the land—take care of our home! We only get one planet. Clean up!!! Ohana:Family—Hapa Mana teammates, coaches, and mentors are like a second family. Let’s take care of each other and help each other be our personal best. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link! Strive to strengthen all links!!! Ke Kala: Excellence—strive to be your very best! If the one who happens to be the weakest link always tries their best, our chain will always be at its strongest! Pono: Righteousness—do the right thing! Do what you know you are supposed to do. Do not do what you know you should not do. Even when your coach or parent is not watching, act as if they are. Oni Pa’a: Steadfastness—be resilient. If something is hard, we do not give up. We do not expect you to be good at everything, we only ask that you try your best! Our hypothesis is that kids of any background will succeed given access to the right opportunities.
Metrics. We will have multiple metrics. First is attendance. They must be there! Next we will gauge attitudes. The kids we currently work with were a bit skittish at first, but no longer! They ask us when we are coming back every time we leave. The goal is to start saying “tomorrow!” more often. Our primary goal is to gain the children’s confidence and trust through reliable contact. A critical issue people in poverty deal with is stability. We provide stable contacts with us and throughout their communities. As we are an athletic club, another outcome we will measure is their physical improvement. Kids participate in Taekwondo, basketball, tennis, and soccer, train with actual personal trainers from top Oahu clubs, and more. Taekwondo helps with self-defense, which kids in poverty need to know, and participation in athletics inspires healthy living, teamwork, good sportsmanship, and more. We also gauge their literacy and growth in coding, robotics, and STEAM activities. Many of our kids could also benefit from English Language Learning. Because we will have teams, we plan to implement a player contract with behavioral guidelines for school, home, and practice, including drug abuse, academic progress, and more. Our camps are filmed and posted online. We hope to do the same with our other programs to show the kids’ growth.
We will also assess the quality of our kids’ and volunteers’ lives, as well as their overall engagement in society. These goals are generally long-term. We plan to continue working with low-income and homeless keiki, with the goal to help raise them to be actively engaged members of society and self-sufficient adults. Short-term evaluations will be more about attendance, grade maintenance, computer literacy, belting up, athletic improvement, other physical improvements (e.g. a kid who could not do a cartwheel when we met and is now a master), English language learning, and attitude. Also, as we are making teams, we will compete in basketball, soccer, tennis, and Taekwondo tournaments where performance and progress can be measured, reported, and rewarded. Our coaches and instructors would also see measurable benefits. Making livable wages alleviates much stress in a person’s life.
Since we signed our partnership with Kunia Village in April, we have served over 121 kids with over 20 Volunteers including several educational and health groups. Our reach spans from Waianae (west side) to Hawaii Kai (east side). Additional funding would help us expand the number and diversity of kids with whom we can reach and interact as well as add opportunities for further partnerships and geographic expansion.
One of our big ideas is to get kids from different backgrounds on the same teams in order to use the bonds sports can create to break the boundaries class can create. Using this, we will be able to assess how well we can integrate society. Kids on the same team will have parents who go to the same games and practices who would be able to meet and collaborate with other parents they otherwise would not have met. We believe in opening access to all as much as possible. We also plan to make more partnerships in order to grow and strengthen our community in multiple ways!