Building Resilience through Relationship

Olohana Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Hawaii. We work with communities to build their resilience and adapt to climate change by strengthening relationships between the generations, between cultures, and with the natural environment. Our work flows in and around the intersection of local food, energy, water, and knowledge systems and their development.

Olohana means “all hands working together.” Our network is deep and wide. It is through our beliefs in the value of working relationships and community values and our efforts to develop these that we are able to bring together diverse skill-sets, knowledge, and resources in our efforts to cultivate community capacity and resiliency in sustainable and long-lasting ways.


Knowledge Systems

The indigenous and scientific communities each have knowledge systems and ways of learning that are unique and complementary. Similarly, each generation possesses particular knowledge and experience. Knowledge is cultivated through processes and systems.

Olohana works with communities using the Inter-Generational Transfer of Knowledge™ process, facilitating the sharing of knowledge from one generation to the next, and bringing an indigenous voice to efforts such as the National Climate Assessment, and the environmental sustainability work of the Indigenous Knowledge and Environment (IKE) Hui, Huaka’i & Blue Trails, the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail Association, the Makali’i Polynesian Voyaging Society, and other organizations.


Food, Energy, and Water Systems

The voice of indigenous communities rings loud and clear: The heart of community natural hazard resilience and climate adaptation is food security. Olohana’s food forest projects are models of capacity- and sustainability-building  in communities throughout our islands.

Olohana partners with such institutions as the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, and Agroforestry Net to help communities establish micro-enterprises that are aligned with their community values and goals.


Community Training and Social Enterprise

Olohana and our partners provide training and educational opportunities that empower the community and align with communal values and goals. Programs focus on multi-scale agroforestry; food and energy security; economic development; women and family empowerment; historical, cultural, and environmental protection; disaster preparedness; and climate-change mitigation.