The Wahi Kana‘aho is a cultural learning center for the healing arts that draws from the wisdom of our kupuna (elders). We host a 21-day residential program to support youths in charting a pono (righteous) path in their lives. We teach concepts and practices related to ho‘oponopono, a traditional Hawaiian practice of setting things right and restoring balance and harmony. We work with youths ages 12-18 from all ethnic, religious, gender, economic, and educational backgrounds. The Wahi Kana‘aho currently accepts youth who are referred through the Ho‘opono Mamo Civil Citation Initiative. Referrals from other sources may be accepted based on space availability.
Rich Cultural Foundations
The program was designed by Wayde Hoapili Lee under the guidance of his kupuna who taught him the healing arts related to ho‘oponopono as well as many traditional cultural practices on the island of Molokai. They instilled traditional values that serve as the foundation for the program, such lokomaikai‘i (kindness, goodwill and generosity), kokua (help and support), ‘olu‘olu (loving), ha‘aha‘a (humility), laulima (working together), kako‘o (assist and help), ho‘omanawanui (patience), malama (to take care of), and respect for kupuna (elders). Youth learn the values through a guided experience during the 21-day program, learning from the Pono Lokahi curriculum and the practice of ho‘oponopono -- "setting things right."
Caring & Professional Staff
The caring and professional staff is made up of the Director and Cultural Practitioner Wayde Hoapili Lee, four counselors, a house parent, student interns, and volunteer kupuna. Staff members bring a wide range of professional training and life experiences in social work as well as in traditional cultural practices such as sustainable agriculture and ecosystem management. They provide mentoring, counseling and tutoring with one counselor for every 2 to 3 youths.
A Place of Healing
The Wahi Kana‘aho is located in the beautiful Waianae Valley on a five-acre church property with space for educational, farming and camp activities. The three-bedroom house is roomy, clean, and comfortable. The youth have 24/7 supervision under the care of trained adults during the three-week program.