In the shadow of Kalihi’s highest peak, Kilohana, cosmological home of Papahanaumoku, ancestor to all Hawaiian people, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (KKV) cares for its community. Formed in response to a need for accessible and appropriate health care services, KKV began offering services for the valley’s low-income, Asian and Pacific Island immigrant population in 1972. The Kokua Kalihi Valley is the first home to the majority of new immigrants to Hawaii and the majority of KKV’s patients live at or below the poverty level.
For four decades, the organization has functioned with an understanding that supporting health is more than just visiting the doctor. The organization believes in a holistic approach when promoting health by “sharing food and laughter, celebrating elders and children, dancing, planting, and remembering how to be a community sharing.”
As part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s America Healingeffort, KKV is expanding its work of healing and reconciliation by establishing Halau Kilohana, a place of learning and a model of community belonging that will empower Kalihi Valley youth to develop identities firmly rooted in culture, place and tradition. By offering a variety of early childhood services, Halau Kilohana will be transformed into a cohesive community in which children can reach their full potential.
KKV employs 170 staff fluent in 20 Asian and Pacific Island languages and dialects, and work out of nine locations throughout the valley. Together they serve over 10,000 community members each year.
From supporting the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange to providing root canals and immunizations, KKV seeks to bring together diverse individuals to create a healthier community.