Happening at HYC
Aloha kakou! HYC is pleased to share our October 2020 article from the Hamakua Times. Be sure to pick up a print copy if you're lucky enough to live in Hamakua!
Resilience Hub at Hāmākua Youth Center
By Jeannette Soon-Ludes
Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi (September 25, 2020) – Last month the school year began unlike any other. With distance education a necessary safeguard against rising COVID-19 cases in the islands, the Hāmākua Youth Center was challenged to balance the needs of our keiki and families with the demands of public safety guidelines. The modest solution was a limited number of spaces filled by the keiki of essential workers. With this reduced class size Mahealani Maikuʻi, HYC Program Director, could support their distance learning and ensure proper social distancing measures for youngsters who were simply excited to see each other after months apart.
But behind the scenes HYC was searching for ways to serve more of our keiki and families through in-person programs. An ambitious solution came in the form of the island-wide Resilience Hubs project led by Vibrant Hawaiʻi and funded through the County of Hawaiʻi CARES grant. According to Vibrant Hawaiʻi, “Resilience Hubs are enhanced community spaces that are designed and managed by local residents, with support from partners in local government as well as private and nonprofit sectors. At it’s core, Resilience Hubs are about putting power and resources into the hands of community.”
At the Youth Center, changes will be felt immediately with more hands available to coordinate the effort. We will be safely increasing our class size from ten to 25, with four full days and an enrichment half-day each week. As part of expanded programming, HYC will digitally connect remote and in-person keiki in weekly science, culture, and art workshops in which each youth will be provided all materials needed for a fun afternoon activity. In addition, food distribution will remain integral with three dinners supplementing Friday meals at the Honokaʻa Hongwanji and a weekend “meal bag” for keiki to prepare with their families.
The Resilience Hubs are an ambitious project and the Hāmākua Youth Center is grateful for the opportunity to share in this island-wide effort. To learn more about Vibrant Hawaiʻi and this project, please visit vibranthawaii.org/cares-hubs.
And as always, please CONTACT US by email or call (808) 775-0976 if you are interested in adding your keiki to our 2020-2021 wait list.
Across the island this project is nurturing resilience in our communities by providing digital resources, increasing access to meals and food, and offering a range of programs for all ages. Officially launching on September 28th, the Resilience Hubs will be in operation for twelve weeks. In this time 21 sites will offer connectivity with laptops and Wi-Fi, 29 sites will distribute nearly 120,000 prepared meals, and 14 programs will be building resilience in communities through a range of scheduled and drop-in programming. The overall impact is tremendous. Through the County of Hawaiʻi CARES grant Vibrant Hawaiʻi will be directly funding 44 partners and an additional 20 local restaurants.