What is Ho`owaiwai?
Ho‘owaiwai—which means “to enrich”—refers to building the power and voice of families and communities across Hawai‘i in ways that increase their ability to have choice and control over their own future. The Ho‘owaiwai framework was developed from a Native Hawaiian values base and perspective of wealth. The essence of Ho`owaiwai is grounded by the Native Hawaiian concept of wealth – waiwai or literally, “water water.” In old Hawai‘i, it was everyone’s kuleana or “responsibility” to malama i ka wai or “to take care of the water,” because it affected the livelihood of the entire village. Viewing wealth as a collective environmental asset challenges traditional western notions and links the initiative’s wealth creation agenda to strategies that build upon, preserve or advance not only Hawai‘i’s financial capital but its human, natural, cultural and social capitals as well.