The makawai is the outlet from which the water flows from the ‘auwai into the lo‘i to nourish the entire patch of kalo, which then feeds the community. Thus is the process Papa Ola Lōkahi is engaging in to invest in, incubate and nurture initiatives that sustain and build the capacity of the lāhui. We call the program Nā Makawai.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allocated $6.1 billion to Hawai‘i to devote to community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The $20 million designated to Native Hawaiian health was distributed among the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and numerous community partners with demonstrated track records of  providing services and technical support to meet the health care needs throughout Hawaiian communities.

The initial Nā Makawai cohort utilized funding for both direct clinical and enabling services. Partners were also able to make critical investments in workforce and infrastructure that will benefit Native Hawaiian health beyond COVID-19 response and into a future of resilience.

We continue to evaluate and assess the broad impacts of this investment, even as we expand the network of community partners devoted to addressing the social, cultural, economic determinants of health and well-being.

Join us as we highlight the good work that these trusted partners are doing to build capacity and amplify health and well-being in their communities.


Program Staff

  • Jason Paloma


    Nā Makawai - Grants Management Liaison Specialist

  • Chantelle Eseta Matagi

    NHPI 3R - Coordinator