Kahākūkahi provides keiki on island the space to enjoy water recreation and learn ocean safety through weekly events post-Lahaina fires
Kahākūkahi Foundation, also known as Kahākūkahi Ocean Academy is an environmental nonprofit organization designed for keiki (kids) on island. For the past 3 months, Zane Schweitzer and his family have come together every week to host their events on the Westside Maui beaches. Each week's itinerary is created to teach children about the makai (ocean) and mauka (mountain), all while having hands-on engagement through fun beach activities such as relay races, paddle boarding, surfing, and swimming. Kids are also taught valuable skills like CPR and proper breathing techniques if and when they are under high stress in the ocean. Most importantly, the Schweitzer family integrates the teachings of what it means to malama (care) for the aina (land) so that kids become more familiar about where they live and why it’s important to know about their culture and where they come from.
KaiAloha Supply is excited to donate to and proud to support Kahākūkahi Ocean Academy.
Every week, the Schweitzer family creates a safe space for families to gather in community. Now more than ever, these events are something that families look forward to as they navigate loss and grief after the Lahaina fires. Kahākūkahi's events are free, include lunch, and are followed by fun activities after a beach cleanup. With each Ocean Clinic that they host, they ensure kids leave with the ultimate experience of knowing more about ocean safety and a stronger foundation of being environmentally conscious.
A group of kids walking with Zane during the first portion of their Ocean Clinic: the beach cleanup. (Photo courtesy of Matty Schweitzer at Island Eye Productions)
Kids and Kahākūkahi staff during a group water activity on floats and surfboards. (Photo courtesy of Matty Schweitzer at Island Eye Productions)
Zane shared that when he was 9 years old, he often participated in pro surfer, Ian Walsh’s Menehune Mayhem events. He had leaders to look up to and was involved in groups where kids uplifted, taught, encouraged and supported each other. Today, he is motivated to pay it forward and provide those same opportunities he received when he was younger, to kids on island. They encourage all families and children who are interested, to join!
Members of the community take part in weekly Ocean Clinics too! Kids are taught about coconuts in the photo above. (Photo courtesy of Matty Schweitzer at Island Eye Productions)
Using leaves to create woven baskets and hats is a common craft on the island. Kids are taught how to utilize their resources to create these crafts. (Photo courtesy of Matty Schweitzer at Island Eye Productions)
Adults guide children during water activities when they canoe, surf, or swim. They ensure kids are safe and properly equipped when out on the water. (Photo courtesy of Matty Schweitzer at Island Eye Productions)