OHA Grant for Second Annual Mālama Nā Keiki Festival

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Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi (Hui Mālama) announces a $6,500 award from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) ‘Ahahui Grants program. This grant award supports the Second Annual Mālama Nā Keiki Festival and its objectives to increase prenatal care, improve birth outcomes, and enrich positive parenting skills of Hawai‘i Island ‘ohana.

Kumu Debbie Ryder and her keiki hula halau at the First Annual Mālama Nā Keiki Festival in 2017.

The Second Annual Mālama Nā Keiki Festival will be held at Naʻālehu Park in Ka‘ū on Saturday, July 28, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Expecting mothers, women considering pregnancy, young families, and supporting ‘ohana are invited for a day of health education, community resources, and interactive keiki activities. Local health agencies will be in attendance to share about health services available to families. Some highlights include early head start enrollment assistance with Family Support Hawaiʻi, dental health education with Bay Clinic, keiki car seat facts with Hawaii Child Passenger Safety Program, and electrical safety with Hawai‘i Electric Light. Free health screenings for participants include vision exams with Project Vision Hawaiʻi, hearing screenings, and immunization information. The event also offers locally-sourced healthy food, music, keiki performances, zumba and more. All event activities are free and open to the public.

Last summer’s First Annual Mālama Nā Keiki Festival, also generously funded by OHA, launched the new Hui Mālama Healthy Hāpai prenatal program that provides expecting parents with hands-on learning about maternity health and wellness practices. The free five-session program is offered island-wide in Hilo, North Hawaiʻi, Kona, Kaʻū and Puna areas throughout the year. At this year’s Mālama Nā Keiki Festival, the Healthy Hāpai program facilitator, Leila Ryusaki, will lead a breastfeeding mini-class and host a prenatal panel with specialists in lactation and breastfeeding, birthing strategies and women’s health.

Hui Mālama Executive Director Louis Hao stated, “Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi is thankful to OHA for their generosity, attention to the needs of our people, and efforts for the community. With their support, we are able to bring more health education and resources to Hawaiʻi Island. Mahalo nui loa.” With the generous support of the OHA ‘Ahahui Grants program, Hui Mālama will further help the community to develop a strong network of prenatal and postnatal support, and learn best practices to prevent potential health problems, raise healthy happy children, strengthen family, and fulfill the OHA and Hui Mālama shared goal of a strong and healthy Hawaiian nation.



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