The Kuleana Health Foundation, a Public Health Outreach Project
A proposal and work in progress
In families, it is the kuleana (responsibility) of the younger sibling to care for and respect the older siblings. In return, the older siblings are to provide protection, to care for, and to feed the younger siblings. According to tradition, kalo and ‘āina are the older siblings and the Hawaiian people are the younger sibling, therefore it is up to the people to care for and to respect kalo and ‘āina. Should the people respect and care for kalo and ‘āina, they will in turn provide food, shelter, and all necessary things needed for life. - Kamehameha Schools
Kalo is the Hawaiian name of the Taro plant. Aloha 'aina, love of the land means to nurture and care for the land. There is great wisdom we can learn from the Hawaiian culture. In the spirit of caring and respect for each other and the life giving earth which sustains us, the Kuleana Health Foundation is proposed as a grass roots community based organization acting to engage like-minded individuals in efforts promoting public health, environmental stewardship and peaceful societies. If we act upon our understanding of kuleana- responsibility to respect and care for one another and the unique planet we live upon- a stronger sense of extended family, ecological sustainability and healthy cooperation could inspire our shared future.
The nature of the work Kuleana Health Foundation proposes to start up is organizing and funding community outreach projects designed to educate and influence individuals and public institutions with a goal of: expanding access to quality health care and improved health outcomes, reducing the cost of obtaining health care, promoting public awareness of how unique, valuable and essential is our relationship with our natural environment and instilling a greater appreciation for times of peace amongst nations and peoples alike.
Focused efforts of the Kuleana Health Foundation will include health care education and outreach projects geared toward helping people understand their own human biology, inspiring self-care and making available on-going support for healthy lifestyle choices. Specifically, diabetes self-care teaching, weight loss support, healthy cooking classes, weekly healthy lifestyle support groups and health care coordination efforts directed to assist at-risk individuals with establishing a medical home. The environmental projects Kuleana Health Foundation will focus on include education and outreach efforts seeking to inspire reverence for our natural environment and strategic efforts aimed at protecting our precious natural resources. Our organization will also work to inform policy making and influence policy makers to act upon the principles of Kuleana to bring about a greater good as defined by healthy communities, pristine environments and peaceful, sustainable social constructs where egalitarian ideals are validated (we seek to respect and care for one another).
While there may be other community based organizations which engage in similar efforts, to which we may contribute, Kuleana Health Foundation will be a unique, volunteer based, grass roots effort which gathers inspired professionals and lay persons alike who will act upon and exemplify our core values of care, respect and responsibility toward each other and our planet. We will succeed in our efforts to improve our communities because our creative approaches to influencing change in individuals and institutions will always be based upon scientific evidence and compassionate common sense. Additionally, we intend to maintain complete financial transparency and action accounting so our supporters will be able to see directly the full results of their contributions. Through sincere sharing of the principles of human kindness, caring and respect for each other and our environment, we can contribute to creating a more peaceful and healthy society.
Organization and Management
The Kuleana Health Foundation will be formed as a California non-profit public benefit corporation pursuing Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) status. A Board of Directors will be established who will be responsible for conducting the corporation's affairs. Acting at the direction of the board will be a president, a chief financial officer and a secretary. All board members and officers will serve on a volunteer basis without financial compensation.
The founding members will draft and file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State, draft the bylaws and basic rules for operating the corporation and hold the first meeting of the Board of Directors. Agenda items for the first meeting will include adopting procedures for safe keeping of minutes, bylaws, and other corporate records, establishing a bank account and planning a budget for the first year. Insurance and permitting will be discussed and grant writing strategies will be implemented. Most importantly, initial action items for community outreach will be determined.
As a Kuleana Health Foundation founder and author of this proposal, I am suggesting we begin by raising a start-up fund from which we employ local deserving individuals or small companies to carry out random acts of kindness in the form of health oriented projects. For example, we could seek out individuals or families who would appreciate a small organic gardening project being funded and completed at their home . I envision many small projects where human kindness is brought to fruition in the form of front yard gardens tilled and planted or even basic solar panel installations being installed free of charge, by and for local innovative individuals or families. When these kinds of local neighborhood improvement projects are successful and ongoing, the Kuleana Health Foundation will be earning respect and esteem within the community such that we could garner further support and expand toward successful health outreach projects and further educational efforts.
It is understood there are many strides yet to be taken toward bringing this nascent non-profit organization into full function. Still, Kuleana- the responsibility, we all should honor, to respect and care for each other and the earth which sustains us- is now and will always be, a profound truism which positively can and will seed a fruitful tomorrow.
Sam E. Ridino RN, BSMCD
Kamehameha Schools, The Creation Story of Papahānaumoku (Earth Mother) and Wākea (Sky Father), the Islands of Hawai‘i Are Born, http://ksdl.ksbe.edu/loi/moolelo-kalo.html, retrieved March 5, 2014.