The Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests supports and leads multiple immersive biocultural and STEM learning programs in Hawai‘i. The Foundation was founded in honor of Senator Daniel K. Akaka with a vision of "vibrant forest communities alive with the voices of Hawai‘i from one generation to the next". We support bicocultural stewardship, biocultural education, and sustainable livelihoods, and are committed to community forest management. We offer free programming for students and their teachers through our Ulu Lehulehu Initiative and Teaching Change Programs. These programs help students to deepen their relationships with the places of Hawai‘i through a biocultural approach to learning that emphasizes stewardship and observation through the Hawaiian concepts of mālama ‘āina and kilo. They provide students with engaging and immersive learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
One of our greatest needs is a 4wd 15-passenger van. In the past we have rented vans from local companies for each field course, but this has become more challenging over the last few years, as the on-island provider no longer allows transport of student groups. In order to provide consistent, transformative opportunities in places such as Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge and the Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a unit of the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forests, we need reliable transportation that we can count on being available for our programs. Purchasing this van will allow us to expand our volunteer stewardship programs that protect and restore Hawaiiʻs native forest ecosystems.
We have identified a van for purchase--it is a great deal and is safe and reliable. With grant funds and individual contributions we have raised the majority of funds needed. We are $3,500 short of our fundraising goal and are asking for your help. Any amount that you are able to give at this time will make an impact and get us closer to this goal.
To learn more about Ulu Lehulehu, please visit: https://akakaforests.org/projects/ululehulehu.
To learn more about Teaching Change, please visit: https://www.teaching-change.org/.
Mahalo nui for your kōkua.