The Wahi Kana‘aho is a place where youth can learn to heal themselves as well as their relationships with family members or others who are meaningful to them. The 21-day residential program is designed for youth of all ethnic backgrounds to learn the traditional Native Hawaiian healing arts related to ho‘oponopono –  to  "set things right" and create balance and harmony in their lives and relations. 

Week 1:  Pono Lokahi Curriculum 

Youth begin by learning Ho‘opono and Ho‘okau as a practice in self-reflection and healing as they go through the Pono Lokahi curriculum.  Ho‘opono allows youth to reflect upon their personal circumstances and actions and identify their own kuleana and role in healing and making right.  Ho‘okau is the process and responsibility for putting things back in harmony and setting things right. When youth have made peace with their circumstances through the practice of these values and protocols, they are ready to reconcile with their family members and others. 

Week 2: Hoʻoponopono with parent/guardian(s)

Youth then learn the traditional art of ho‘oponopono, a practice of interpersonal exchange, reconciliation, and healing. Training in ho‘oponopono helps prepare youth to reconcile issues with their family members by speaking honestly, giving and receiving forgiveness, and forming a plan to continue to strengthen their relationships.  At the end of the second week, parents or guardians are invited to come to the Wahi Kana‘aho to participate in ho‘oponopono.  The session is led by the child and supported by his or her po‘o or case manager. Youths are encouraged to practice the principles of ho‘oponopono as an everyday way of life after the program has concluded.

Week 3: Wellness Plan and Prepare for Return

As youth learn various healing arts, they work with the counselors to set their goals and assess their progress as they prepare for the transition back to their home, community, and school.  They work closely with their family members, school staff, community supporters, and case manager on their transition plan. This plan can include making connections with community-based programs and activities for youth and their families to ensure that they maintain the personal growth they have cultivated.



The Pono Lokahi curriculum uses the metaphor of the waʻa or canoe to nurture each person's ability to steer their lives in a pono direction. They learn one value each day and practice it throughout the day's activities.  The curriculum includes the following learning modules: friendship; family; school and work; community and ahupua‘a; spirituality; and the well-being of the mind and body. They apply the values they learn and the lessons from the curriculum in three areas of life: caring for each other as a family, caring for the land, and caring for the ocean. 


The curriculum is comprised of interactive, hands-on learning activities that link cultural values to everyday life.  From the start of the program, youth participants will be responsible for daily chores of communal living such as cooking and cleaning the house.  ‘Aina-based learning is facilitated  through the cultivation of kalo, sweet potato, and other crops as well as through community service activities.  Community service is a key component as youth learn to give back to the kupuna of the surrounding community.  

Sample of the 21 values for 21 days

Malama– to care for and honor

Kupono – upright, fair, just, honest

Kako‘o – to assist, support, help

Ha‘aha‘a –  humility 

Mihi – to repent

Huikala – to cleanse, purify, forgive

Kupa‘a – steadfast, support the truth, loyal, faithful

Alaka‘i – to lead

Lokahi – unity, agreement

Ho‘opaipai – to encourage

Akahai – try for the first time, gentle

Laulima – working together, cooperation