The “Friendship House” and it’s “Backyard Garden Green Demonstration Project” operates a social club for children, teens and 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 back yard gardening 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 and families, volunteers, interns, and 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 children to meet successful working peers in order to role model. Then after 90 days of success in the program, both peer and elder mentors focus more on a vocational area of interest. This exposure will help to sponsor/mentor participants into a financial stipend program to reinforce self-selected goal activities.

Advanced, leadership-oriented participants and families can work towards attending 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.

The Program

The program will offer 2 levels of apprentice status leading to Student stipends that will increase commensurate with the level of advancement and responsibility and competence of the apprentice. Final graduates will have the opportunities to be mentored into developing their own cottage industries and/or businesses and readied for internship in local agricultural or business for exposure and opportunities or to gain meaningful employment by their 18th year and many will go on to college. The main focus of the readiness program will be to identify potential career goals, achieve focus and self-regulation, have computer literacy skills, have knowledge in human problem solving and awareness of sustainable back yard gardening and/or small scale farming, understand alternative green home utilities such as solar power, water storage, and purification, composting toilets, and aquaculture growing fish for foods or recreation. (See green garden lab curriculum)

 Exposure to pre-vocational experiences and community resource/service opportunities help with problems such as poor self-esteem, lack of organizational skills, self-regulation, and improve interpersonal abilities.

These activities often identify deeper needs. Our professional trauma-informed and capable mental health intervention can treat mild-moderate mental health conditions such as emotional disturbance, family problems, depression, substance use, and mild behavioral disorders.

For children/families with these needs, we have resources available and we can receive direct community referrals for individual and family care for those who may at some point be ready for the social group programming.

We have contracts and collateral relationships with Governmental entities, like Hawaii Country Human Services Grant, Medical Providers, Teen Court, other agencies such Department of Education, Health, as well as insurance providers such as HMSA, Ohana Care, Aloha Care, United Health Tri-care and Quest payers for the trauma-informed mental health component of the program.

Referrals for the Social Club can come from participants and families, formal and informal community networks.

Thank You, HCF Fund: Kukio Community Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation for the support in 2020 Virtual Leadership Program