ProjectFocus Hawai’i Presents
“The Resilient Spirit”
“The Resilient Spirit”
The path to adulthood is never easy. Most of us walk it with the help and guidance of those who love us most: our families.
Imagine having to go through much, or all, of your childhood without them—without the steady presence of people you have always known.
Children who are in foster care are survivors. Their families are either absent or in crisis. Every child in foster care has already survived tougher circumstances, and has had to make difficult choices than most will face in their lifetimes. These children have often endured physical, mental, or sexual abuse. In some cases, foster children can pass through twenty homes before they reach adulthood.
These young people are often called “at-risk,” but to them, the risk is finished: the things they feared most have already come to pass. They have lost much, but they are still rich in at least one thing: time. And with time, which has been called the healer of all wounds, comes hope. This exhibit is a visual representation of their resilient spirits.
Foster children have become doctors, lawyers, professional sports players, artists, teachers, and loving mothers and fathers. The difference is, and has always been, whether responsible and caring adults reach out to them and help provide them with the tools they need to make a positive transition to adulthood.
Imagine this: on their 18th birthday, some of these children will walk into the adult world with nothing but a plastic bag filled with their belongings and what their heads and hearts contain. Yet if they have hope, they can move forward.
Having a positive vision of the future and a way to focus that vision—a vocation, a set of skills, a voice—is one of the most precious and enduring gifts anyone can receive. You can help these young people find a future they like the look of.
Hale Kipa (“House of Friendliness”) is a nonprofit agency serving at-risk youth and their families on all of the major Hawaiian Islands. It has been traditionally known for offering emergency shelter, but Hale Kipa provides much more than a roof and four walls.
More than shelter from the rain, an at-risk child needs what every child needs: preparation, structure, and practical tools for functioning in the adult world. He or she also needs emotional tools for surviving and navigating extraordinary experiences: early abandonment; rejection; homelessness; mental, physical, and sexual abuse; or addiction.
Hale Kipa makes every effort to reach out to children and youth who need the most support and have the least by providing targeted or special-need services and programs.
2009 Summer Interns
Tyler Holck ~ Punahou School
Caelan Hughes ~ La Pietra ~ Hawaii School for Girls
Lia Medeiros ~ 2008 Participant
Kate Ryan ~ Barnard College