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The Actions Of Hawaii’s Youth Will Determine Its Future

For the youth of Hawaii, global issues have always been evident. We are able to see the consequences of global warming in our everyday lives.

Our islands have felt the ramifications of climate change through rising sea levels, erosion, resource loss, coral bleaching, and much more. Inequity and social disparities are a common sight.

They are manifested as sidewalk cities, dilapidated houses, unemployment and underemployment, and many other issues.

As a student of Kamehameha Schools, these large-scale problems are regularly discussed. We are encouraged to think outside the box and be the generation that uplifts our lahui back to greatness.

Our ancestors thrived with the concept of sustainability. Their values led them to be successful caretakers of the land.

They understood the importance of land for future generations. They kept in mind the future of our people with every action they made.

This meant using resources wisely, teaching the children cultural values, and cooperating with one another.

Reciprocal Relationships

These same concepts are intertwined with our learning at Kamehameha Schools. We are provided opportunities to give back to our community and are encouraged to pioneer a new path for our people.

We pursue a reciprocal relationship between ʻāina and kānaka. He aliʻi ka ʻāina, he kauwā ke kanaka. “Land is the chief, people are its servants.”

I grew up in a productive and insightful community. My family runs a nonprofit organization, so I was raised with the concept of actions over words. My parents lead by example by discussing local issues and brainstorming possible solutions.

From there I was able to watch the process of organizing events for a cause. These past few years, our nonprofit has held a Sustainable Fishing Practices Tournament.

We partnered with Poseidon Research, a marine biology organization, in hopes of creating fishing regulations based on data collected in Hawaii.

One of the main goals of this project is to collect data to better understand life cycles of our local fish species. This ensures that populations have a proper chance to replenish.

We also worked with other oceanic organizations who came and talked to the fishermen about the future of fishing, marine debris, and aquatic restoration.

I hope to take my parents’ example and make these events known to my generation. The decisions and actions of youth will determine the future of Hawaii.

I challenge everyone to look into ways people are making a difference in your community. Make a choice to volunteer to do work in your community or partner with a nonprofit to start your own event.

Volunteering can be something as small as promoting a fundraiser to baking for elderly care homes.

This week a group of Kamehameha students, including myself, has been given the opportunity to travel to New York to attend conferences discussing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Let’s find new ways to advocate for our land, people, and culture.

I hope to demonstrate this eagerness to serve and positively represent our state as we engage in many discussions on ways to ensure our planet and those on it have a fruitful future.

From New York, we hope to bring back insight into ways other countries are pursuing a more sustainable future for their communities. Through our participation in various meetings, we hope to find new ways to advocate for our land, people, and culture.

This includes sustainable planning, in order to provide more homes to Native Hawaiians, mental illness programs to decrease our number of homeless, and well-being initiatives to improve the health of Hawaiians. Collaboration, conscientious planning, and community support can solve many of these large-scale issues.

I hope to be able to reflect on the knowledge gained at the U.N. and start by creating a difference in my small communities (ohana, school, church, and neighborhood). I hope that the message will reach those in my community and extend outward from there.

If we, as a lahui, work together to take small steps in the right direction, we can stand as our most authentic selves and ensure a more positive future for the people of Hawaii and Island Earth.

Source : CivilBeat