The “Friendship House” and it’s “Sustainable Food Forest/Backyard Garden Green Demonstration Project” operates a social club for , teens, families, professional and para-professional, interns volunteer staff and Kapuna (elder) mentors.
Activities for our social club membership include meeting new friends, earning some money, expand potential career interests, participation in fruit tree propagation, gardening, field trips, and care of the natural environment. We provide basic exposure through our online and back yard gardening-sustainable food forest curriculum developed by the students and in the hands-on – activities part of the program called Garden Lab. We provide opportunities for learning basic – to – complex computer skills, resume writing and interviewing skills, small group communication, (Transactional Analysis) problem-solving methods, community service, and civic orientation. Our social club membership includes teens-elder and their families, volunteers, interns, mental health professional and para-professional staff with trauma-informed and competent skill sets. We provide mind-body- health exposure and mental health oriented intervention as needed using cutting edge 21st-century treatment methods that focus on resiliency, not pathology.
The social club provides a non-threatening fun atmosphere for teen and elders to meet weekly and develop successful working pairs in order to provide elders with teen driven IT consulting for the elders and healthy wisdom role models for the teens. Then after 90 days of success in weekly group rap sessions, both peer and elder mentors focus more on a vocational area of interest. This exposure will help by Teen participants through a financial stipend program to reinforce self-selected goal activities.
Advanced, leadership-oriented participants, elders and families can work towards attending winter gatherings to harvest the Hawaiian food forest and the annual “on the land” cross-cultural summer leadership program and meet and work with selected mainland youth and families in our Western New York Summer Camp. (see summer program)
We engage teens and elders as part of the core planning and development for the entire demonstration project and in curriculum design.
Our onsite and online interactive curriculum intends to support social leadership skills, drug-free health and mental healthy lifestyles, potential career interests and goals, sustainable agricultural and cottage industry, business skills minded activities within a therapeutic, community affirming, 21’st century skills empowerment framework.
Our program offers two apprentice levels with increasing stipends based on advancement. Graduates get mentorship for cottage industries or internships. Focus areas include career goals, self-regulation, computer literacy, problem-solving, sustainable practices, and exposure to vocational opportunities. We address self-esteem and organizational issues, providing trauma-informed mental health intervention for mild-moderate conditions. Referrals come from various sources, and we collaborate with governmental entities, medical providers, and insurance companies.
Thank You, HCF Fund: Kukio Community Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation for the support in 2020 Virtual Leadership Program