Ho‘ōla Nā Pua provides weekly group lessons and activities through Hoku Group Services that aim to model healthy connections and promote self-empowerment. Lessons are delivered in collaboration with care facilities where youth are often system-involved through Child Welfare and/or Juvenile Justice. Youth in these facilities may have multiple risk factors and vulnerabilities, and many have been identified as victims of exploitation.
Hoku lessons and activities are designed to be fun and engaging and focus on resiliency-building topics such as self-worth, knowledge, social and safety skills, and purpose. Equipping youth with tools and skills will serve as protective factors when they are discharged.
Activities include a variety of intentionally prepared psychoeducational lessons, focusing on increasing self-worth, developing emotional and physical safety, exploring one’s purpose, and gaining knowledge to better one’s self.
Each weekly session has a different lesson, which incorporates education, art, and activities. For example,in the Ride the Wave activity, facilitators use the analogy of surfing to help youth talk about how they deal with life’s “waves.” In this lesson, facilitators use the analogy of “riding the wave” to teach the importance of recognizing the emotions we feel in different situations and instead of fighting them, ride them and get curious about what they mean. Using the youths’ knowledge of the ocean, and their experience catching waves, the metaphor guides the youth to consider how they navigate various feelings and life challenges. They talk about the importance of keeping their eyes on the next wave, anticipating what may come next, ensuring to point out the choices we make are important and obstacles can be overcome. Riding the wave means having patience and being kind to yourself as you navigate the obstacles of life.
The youth then are given a chance to paint their own waves and share how they can learn to ride or surf the waves of their emotions. They may even make the connection that even the toughest waves, or biggest challenges, can be conquered.
If your facility is interested in Hoku Group Services, please contact Shari Bautista, LSW, Hoku Program Manager at [email protected]
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“Ho`ōla Nā Pua, meaning ‘New Life for Our Children,’ was founded to shine light onto the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of our mission and vision for our community.”