Funding Status of the Project
Currently the Foundation has approximately $114,000 to fund the excavation and concrete costs for the project. Our total project budget is $276,300 to complete the project. We have acquired a grant from the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation of $100,000 and need to find the remaining funds of $62,300 for the project. The Foundation hopes to fund the remainder of the project with additional grants and direct donation solicitations to businesses in the community.
THE PUAKEA LEARNING CENTER PROJECT
The Foundation would like to build the Puakea Foundation Learning Center (herein after referred to as the “Learning Center”), a permanent halau structure at He’eia State Park, where our master kalai wa’a, Uncle Bobby will have a place to work and share his knowledge of koa canoe restoration and carving. This new structure will not only provide a physical shelter for the canoes themselves to be worked on but perhaps more importantly will provide a place in the Windward community and island of Oahu where canoes come to be healed and a place where Hawaiian canoe carving is alive and well.
The permanent structure of the Learning Center will provide the Foundation with stronger recognition in the community, increase opportunities for the Foundation to collaborate with other organization and companies, as well as provide more learning opportunities to residents and visitors of Oahu about the art and culture of Hawaiian koa canoe restoration.
With the building of the Learning Center, the Foundation has identified three major expected results as listed below:
· For the past 12 years, Uncle Bobby has shared his knowledge and practiced his culture under tents, sometimes in the mud, powering his electric tools with a noisy generator. Therefore, the literal outcome of the building of the Learning Center will be the permanence and convenience of a real home for Uncle Bobby to work out of and share his knowledge. Over the last 3 years, Uncle Bobby has been a victim of theft, the Learning Center will provide him and the Foundation with a safe and secure place to store tools and koa wood. More than just a physical shelter with concrete slabs and electricity, the Learning Center will be better equipped for learners and community members to feel a sense of belonging; to canoes, to the ocean, to He’eia, to each other—and for some, to their ancestors. The Foundation will be able to measure this result by the increase in learners and number of paddles or canoes repaired at the new Learning Center.
· The building of a physical structure such as the Learning Center is a beneficial outcome for the entire Windward community, especially neighbors like Paepae O He’eia and Kako’o Oiwi. Given their physical proximity to each other it is pertinent that these organizations along with the Foundation have a healthy, open, honest, collaborative relationship. Such relationships can be fostered and maintained through meetings and events that require a physical meeting place such as the Learning Center. By collaborating with other organizations in the area, the Foundation will be able to touch and share the Hawaiian culture with many more individuals.
· As with many ocean sports, one would be hard pressed to love canoes and canoe paddling without having a sincere love and appreciation for the ocean. After learning from and interacting with Uncle Bobby, learners are very likely to take interest in canoes, canoe paddling, the koa tree, and the ocean in general; catalyzing that very important realization to care about and learn to understand the ocean and land. One very significant result of the Learning Center will be restoring kuleana and individual accountability for all learners; specifically, in the areas of what each learner can do in his/her own daily life.
Purpose and History of Organization
The Puakea Foundation of Hawaii Inc.’s (herein after referred to as the “Foundation”) mission is to protect, educate, and perpetuate the cultural integrity and construction or reconstruction of Polynesian canoes made of natural or modern materials through study, research, education, travel, and documentation. The Foundation was established in 2003 for the purpose of perpetuating Pacific Island canoe culture through programs that educate the public in the following areas:
· Building, carving, caring for, repairing, and redesigning of traditional Hawaiian canoes;
· Reforestation of the rare Acacia Koa tree essential in the construction of traditional Hawaiian canoes;
· Conducting workshops and community outreach programs that educate the public on the history and significance of the traditional canoe in the Polynesian culture.
The Foundation successfully received our non-profit 501(c )(3) designation in October 2009.
Since 2003, the Foundation has repaired or assisted in the repair & re-design of 18 koa racing canoes, has supported three student groups in the reforestation efforts on the island of Hawaii, participated in over 60 community events, conducted at least 20 paddle workshops, hosted 8 koa canoe paddling crews across the Molokai channel, and educated approximately 3,000 visitors at our canoe site at He’eia State Park where our kalai wa’a, Bobby Puakea (“Uncle Bobby”), does his canoe repair work at. Our workshops include community members, school groups, or visitors being part of a koa canoe restoration or redesigning project on site. In the past year the Foundation, begun the koa canoe genealogy project which is the creation of a database of all the koa canoes in the State of Hawaii and beyond. The Foundation’s main purpose is to continue to share and educate the community about the Pacific Island canoe carving culture. Please take a look at our website www.puakea.org for more information about the Foundation and our efforts.