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The Kinai ‘Eha Program aims at providing a vocational education option for students in dire need of purpose and direction in their lives.

Kinai ‘Eha Program helps at-risk students build foundation and structure for post-secondary success

Dec. 18, 2018

Kamehameha Schools has partnered with the Kinai ʻEha Program to refurbish and paint the parking lot stairwells at Kawaiaha‘o Plaza.

Founded in Feb. 2018 by Josiah ʻĀkau, a 1996 KS Kapālama alumnus and executive director, the Kinai ʻEha Program is a nonprofit that provides real-world vocational training, as well as life and workforce readiness skills for at-risk 17-24 year-olds from the Koʻolau region.

Through Kinai ʻEha, which means “to extinguish pain,” haumāna develop personal empowerment, Hawaiian cultural identity and leadership, earn a high school diploma and participate in community service and workforce training in the construction trades. 

“Josiah understands the struggles that these students face, but he also sees their potential and has managed to create real-world opportunities for them in a very stringent procedural and protocol-driven construction industry,” said Arnulfo Castillo, director of KS’ Capital Management Program, Facilities Development and Support Division.

Working under the oversight of Diversified Contract Services, a full-service construction contractor, the stairwell project kicked off Dec. 8, and is expected to last over the next few months. Haumāna in the program will also begin work on an irrigation repair project at Mauna ʻAla in Jan. 2019.   

To learn more about the Kinai ‘Eha Program, please visit

The Kinai ‘Eha Program serves Native Hawaiian students from the Ko‘olau region. The group is made up of nearly 90 percent kāne with the remaining being wahine.

With 80 percent of them already dropped out of high school, the program offers the students an opportunity to earn a high school diploma while gaining workforce training in the construction trades.

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Kawaiaha‘o Plaza

567 South King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-6200

KS Hawai‘i

16-716 Volcano Rd
Kea‘au, HI 96749
(808) 982-0000

KS Kapālama

1887 Makuakāne St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 842-8211

KS Maui

275 ‘A‘apueo Pkwy
Pukalani, HI 96768
(808) 572-3100