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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



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



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.


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.