Hele no ka wai, hele no ka ‘āla, ola ke kalo
The makawai is the outlet from which the water flows from the ‘auwai into the lo‘i to nourish the entire patch of kalo, which in turn sustains the community it feeds. Thus is the process Papa Ola Lōkahi is engaging in to invest in and harvest that which feeds the community, contributing to building the capacity of the lāhui.
We call the program Nā Makawai.
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 designated $6.1 billion to Hawai‘i to devote to community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $135 million provided to various health care initiatives, $20 million is specifically devoted to Native Hawaiian health, which Papa Ola Lōkahi has been tasked to distribute among a multitude of established organizations that provide various services throughout Hawaiian communities. The Nā Makawai program’s two-year funding will be used to increase vaccine capacity, improve COVID-19 response and treatment capacity, increase capacity for accessible and available health care services, and deliver health education and services during the ongoing recovery and stabilization phases.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Hawai‘i has widened the gaps in access, affordability and availability to health care and highlighted the social and economic disparities already being experienced by Native Hawaiians.
To address such inequities, Nā Makawai is partnering with twenty organizations across five Hawaiian islands because of their stellar work in areas such as primary, dental, behavioral and mental health services, pregnancy and maternal care, health workforce development, broadband access and telehealth, vaccination outreach and delivery, and health promotion, education and outreach. Throughout the two years, we will evaluate and assess the broad impacts of this investment.
Join us as we highlight the good work that these partners are doing to build capacity and amplify efforts in health and well-being in their communities.