E Hoʻi I Ka Piko
INPEACE employees join together as a staff to learn in an enriching environment and rejuvenate their minds and bodies at least once each year. During this time, our ʻohana reflects on the needs of its individuals and programs. A theme guides this retreat. E Hoʻi I Ka Piko means “to return to the core,” and during the retreat, staff participate in culturally rich activities focused around uniting INPEACE and improving cultural competency throughout the agency. The event provided staff with opportunities for networking, team building, and cross-collaboration as well as strategies for improving public messaging. To learn more about the E Hoʻi I Ka Piko retreat, watch the video below:
Kau I Ka Wēkiu
Native Hawaiians always bond over cultural practices. In a retreat themed Kau I Ka Wēkiu, which means “taking it to the next level,” INPEACE staff focus on empowering parents and children, addressing the challenges families face and the hope that inspires. Revisiting the outdoor classroom allows returning staff to view the “fruits of their labor” and see how the ginger planted the prior year has grown. This event allows our ʻohana to unite with one common goal: to support each other and empower our communities. To see how the Kau I Ka Wēkiu retreat inspires staff members, watch the video below:
INPEACE is a reflection of the community at large
We know there are valuable resources in Native Hawaiian communities, and we seek to align with those resources. We look for people who have passion and dedication, and we empower them to become productive members of the community. INPEACE assists people, whether our employees, parents, teachers, students, or community members, in achieving their goals, ultimately strengthening the core of the community as a whole.
Recognizing the potential we have right in our own backyard, we nurture community members and empower them with specific knowledge and skills so they can realize a more productive, fulfilling life. In turn, the community in which they live becomes the community in which they serve, and everyone benefits!
The communities we serve are involved in every aspect of our work. We engage community members because we believe the best solutions come from the ground up and from those who understand the problems intimately. Our long-standing reputation in the community for innovative programs and “word of mouth” efforts has brought success to our organization because community members see our programs as an extension of themselves.
We don’t just stop at reaching out to the community. One of our main objectives is to empower community members with the tools they need to be self-sufficient. As an example of this, in our Keiki Steps Parent Participation Preschool program, 95 percent of the staff were themselves once participants in the program and come from the same community in which they serve.
We also engage community on the board: 90 percent of our board members are Native Hawaiian, and 50 percent are active residents of the communities we serve. This top-down strategy, along with our bottom-up grassroots efforts, ensures that a community voice is present in all discussions having to do with the overall direction of INPEACE.
Overall, 75 percent of INPEACE staff members were once participants in an INPEACE program. Community input is integrated through all aspects of our work including program development, refinement, and expansion. We treat our staff like family, and staff members treat our program participants like family, as well. Because of that approach, INPEACE has twice been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Hawaiʻi” by Hawai‘i Business magazine. Together, INPEACE helps make the whole community stronger.