4th annual ‘Ohana Fest ‘Journey to Make Pono’ set for April 6 at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens

As April marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Hoʻoikaika Partnership is excited to host the 4th annual ‘Ohana Fest “Journey to Make Pono” on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. This event is designed for families who are eligible for services offered by partner agencies. The event includes activities, community resources, music and giveaways.

Maui Botanical Gardens ʻOhana Fest 2023

Highlights of the event include:

  • Native Hawaiian cultural activities, games, book giveaways, and raffle prizes.
  • Information booths featuring 25 local agencies.
  • Entertainment by Sweet & Salty, the Baldwin High School Drumline, Uncle Wayne, and Hālau Hula Keola-Aliʻi O Kekai.
  • A proclamation ceremony for Child Abuse Prevention Month by Mayor Bissen at 10:30 a.m., organized by Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui.

This year’s theme revolves around the children’s storybook “Kalo Boy’s Adventure to Make Pono: He Huakaʻi ʻOhana,” authored by Hoʻoikaika partners and illustrated by award-winning Native Hawaiian artist Solomon Robert Nui Enos. The story emphasizes the importance of family and friends working together to overcome challenges. The book is part of an ongoing public education campaign to promote protective factors, reduce the stigma associated with seeking help, and foster early literacy.

“Our theme, A Journey to Make Pono, aligns perfectly with Child Abuse Prevention Month,” explains Heidi Allencastre, Hoʻoikaikaʻs Community Engagement Committee co-chair and Family Navigator at Maui Family Support Services. “Healing on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels is part of the journey, especially in households where abuse has occurred. After the August wildfire devastation, our island community is on a collective journey to make things right, especially in Lahaina.”

As we continue to recover, this event provides families with an opportunity to heal in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. “Collaboration is key to this journey,” said Euconfra “Connie” Meekhof, Maui Family Peace Center Program Supervisor and Hoʻoikaika Leadership Hui representative. “Hoʻoikaika Partnership brings our community together to reaffirm our commitment to our ʻohana and the ʻāina. We are a multicultural collective dedicated to supporting, inspiring, and motivating all individuals we encounter.”

Throughout April and beyond, Hoʻoikaika Partnership will continue to educate the public and support families, promoting protective factors, imparting skills, facilitating access to help, and encouraging healthy coping mechanisms. Community members and organizations are encouraged to play a role in ensuring our ʻohana are healthy, safe, and supported. Research consistently shows that building protective factors enhances child well-being and reduces the risk of abuse. These factors include:


  • Nurturing and Attachment: “Mālama ʻOhana”
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development: “Parenting Can Be Hard, But Can”
  • Social and Emotional Competence in Children: “Show Keiki Aloha”
  • Social Connections: “How You Stay”
  • Parental Resilience: “First, Make Yourself Pono”
  • Concrete Support in Times of Need: “No Shame”

Established in 2008, the Hoʻoikaika Partnership comprises community organizations, individuals, county, and state agencies united in preventing child abuse and neglect in Maui County. The work of Hoʻoikaika Partnership is made possible through the generous funding from our donors including the Maui Strong Fund, administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. For more information about Hoʻoikaika Partnership, visit their website or contact Coordinator Deb Marois.

If you have concerns about a child in Maui County who may be a victim of abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline to make an anonymous report.

Malama Ike Ola Health Center at the ʻOhana Fest 2023

Participating Agencies

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui Child & Family Service Child Welfare Services Department of Education Department of Health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD)/ Maui Family Guidance Center Family Hui Hawaiʻi Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui Goodwill Hawaiʻi – Ola I ka Hana youth program Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute Imua Family Services


Reprinted from Maui Now April 4, 2024

Keiki O Ka ʻĀina
Mālama Family Recovery Center
Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center
Maui Family Support Services
Maui Family YMCA
Maui Police Department
Maui Youth and Family Services
Nā Keiki O Emalia
Parents And Children Together / PATCH
Pediatric Therapies Hawaii
Royal Family Kids Maui
Village of Hope Maui