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Na Kama Kai

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education

Mission: Na kama kai's (children of the sea) mission is to empower youth by creating, conducting and supporting ocean-based programs, specifically targeting ocean safety and conservation awareness in order to increase the capacity of youth in the community through hawaiian values, culture and environmental education.

Target demographics: keiki

Geographic areas served: the Hawaiian Islands

Programs: one-on-one interactions with professional surfers, watermen and waterwomen, lifeguards, firefighters, marine scientists, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, and ocean rescue instructors. The clinics provide a positive, nurturing, and controlled environment enabling keiki to become confident in the ocean through a personally guided experience. Participants learn Hawaiian stories related to the event location, help shape traditional wooden boards, and learn about traditional Hawaiian ocean culture through the contemporary perspective of ocean professionals. Nā Kama Kai programs target all youth from 2 to 18 years of age in many different cultural settings. Currently most of the programs occur on the Island of O’ahu, and to a lesser extent on the other neighbor islands of Hawai’i. Also, ocean clinics have been held at Papeete, Tahiti, Dana Point CA, and Japan and have demonstrated that the programs provided by Nā Kama Kai can serve as a model for other coastal communities.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

We children and I absolutely love attending the Na Kama Kai ocean clinics. We haven't gone in a while though because our schedules are extremely busy but look forward to going back sometime soon. We went to our first clinic in January 2011. My daughter was 10 and my twin boys were 4. Prior to this day, my boys didn't really enjoy going in the ocean. I'm not entirely sure why, I think they were just scared of the waves or something. But I have to say, they really loved their first time out. It was their first time paddle boarding and it was such a great experience! For all of them! After this first time they would ask when they could go back. So from then we have been back quite a few more times. My daughter also enjoyed her first time surfing out in Kahana Bay in September 2012. She was so determined to successfully stand up at least once. And after several tries, she finally did it. Then she decided to ask for a surf board. Thank you so much, Na Kama Kai, for the wonderful opportunities for my kids. We truly appreciate you all and this program!

Tasha5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Took my daughter to a clinic in Waianae. staff was very friendly upon check in, gave us instructions and explained what the clinic was about. My daughter loved everything the clinic offered. Staff was great especially since she had some reservations on being on the water without me or her dad. Till this day she still asks to go...and we will and continue to encourage others to visit Na Kama Kai

Raquel T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that takes kids from every walk of life and teaches them not just about the waves but gives them a deeper understanding and respect for the ocean, it's ecology, their safety and the culture that surrounds them. I've watched my son grow confident and brave just by spending a couple of hours with these volunteers. There is no other program around that can do or teach a child as much as Na Kama Kai does in such a short amount of time.

Layla D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have been associated with Na Kama Kai from the very beginning and are glad to have done so. It is doing great things for our local keiki and our ocean. Imua Na Kama Kai!

Vickie N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization provides an amazing opportunity for children to both learn the joys and the responsibility involved with caring for the ocean. The education is provided in a fun and culturally significant way, which teaches the children of Hawai'i - and those visiting - how to appreciate the ocean and how to enjoy it safely. I cannot rave enough about the volunteers that put this project together, and how that ohana became a part of mine.

Joshua9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've taken my two sons to two events held by Na Kama Kai this year. Each time the boys came away very happy and excited. I normally take my kids out on canoes and surfboards myself, but this provides me with a way to get both of them out at the same time and also to learn a little more. We'll be attending future events as well and would encourage more people to bring their kids down. This is especially good for those of us who want to take their kids out but just don't seem to have the time nowadays. Mahalo Na Kama Kai for all you do! Aloha!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My three daughters went to a Na Kama Kai clinic and we were so impressed with all the volunteers and support that was there! They got a lot of hands on experience sanding down a papa he'e nalu (surfboard) the traditional way, catching waves on a SUP, and riding for the first time in an outrigger canoe. So much fun for everyone! Na Kama Kai is lucky to have so many great volunteers teach the keiki their love of the ocean and to be responsible stewards our oceans.

CrystalMaya

Client Served

Rating: 5

"Aloha! Na Kama Kai is a good place for a little hula girl like me. It's good to ride on a board and paddle like yourself in your heart. All the good things that I liked was going on the canoes and doing all the stuff out in the ocean and learning about the fish at the end and getting smoothies." -Jada, age 7

Sean7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for Na Kama Kai over 3 and a 1/2 years ago. My nephew asked me to help and I was there. I did not know how much of a positive effect it would have on me. By helping others I have helped myself become a better person and a stronger part of the community here in Hawaii. Mahlo Uncle Sean

Bud A.

Board Member

Rating: 5

While serving on the Board of Directors of Na Kama Kai for the last 3 years I have received tremendous satisfaction in knowing that we are having a positive influence on the lives of youth in the state of Hawaii. Na Kama Kai’s mission is to empower youth by creating, conducting and supporting ocean-based programs, specifically targeting ocean safety and conservation awareness in order to increase the capacity of youth in the community through Hawaiian values, culture and environmental education.
Na Kama Kai guides youth to become safe, responsible participants in recreational ocean activities and helps them fully appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean as part of our natural world. In essence they become “ocean intelligent”. Such learning occurs through guidance and experience in a nurturing environment where keiki (youth) learn how to be safe in the marine environment, grow physically and emotionally through interaction with the ocean, develop an overall respect for nature using the ocean as a connecting force to all living things, and learn that it is their responsibility to provide the stewardship needed to conserve our ocean recourses for future generations. To date, close to 4,000 keiki have participated in our free clinics. Our success is based entirely on the dedication and commitment of volunteers. These talented volunteers experience tremendous fulfillment as they empower the keiki to practice ocean safety and conservation. Such awareness saves lives and leads to stronger stewardship of our fragile island environment.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the Board of Directors for Na Kama Kai for over a year, and within that time I have seen positive growth for both our keiki and efforts towards teaching stewardship to our community. The benefits for all that have experienced the clinics, whether as a participant, volunteer, or a parent, have been enriched by the positive message delivered. The smiles from the keiki having their first experience of being in and on the ocean has given them the confidence needed to reach beyond their comfort zones and try something new. In many ways Na Kama Kai has empowered so many, in so many different ways. Mahalo to good people that make Na Kama Kai happened each month.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Nā Kama Kai (Children of the Sea) is an excellent organization that shares its passion of the ocean with all children (young and old). Not only has Nā Kama Kai made a positive impact to the children but also to the volunteers that have the wonderful opportunity to work individually with each child. Through generous volunteers, donations, and sponsors, Nā Kama Kai has been able to provide free monthly ocean clinics around the entire island of Oahu and has even made special trips elsewhere. I joined Nā Kama Kai, first as a volunteer then as a Board Member, because I strongly believe in this organization and its mission of "empowering youth by ...specifically targeting ocean safety and conservation awareness to increase the capacity of the youth..."

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nā Kama Kai Has inspired me to be a better person in my community. Through volunteerism I have discovered that there are may wonderful people on planet who will work their hardest to serve others. Passion for a better society runs strong in all of the volunteers that I have met at Nā Kama Kai. Mahalo to all who support the mission of Nā Kama Kai.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Na Kama Kai since 2008. My time as a volunteer has been wonderful, I've seen children from all walks of life and ages gain invaluable ocean skills, appreciation and respect for both the land and ocean, and an experience that leaves a grin on their face every time. The volunteers of Na Kama Kai are down to earth and focused on the keiki, and make the organization what it is: a grass roots effort to teach ocean skills, Hawaiian culture and values, and share love for our keiki and ocean.