03 Jun Embracing opportunities, flourishing together as a family
Their family is well known in Kahauiki Village. Chevalee and Tuvalemalii are active community volunteers and staples at the playground with their children. They’re parents to seven keiki, spanning from the age of three to 18 years old.
Chevalee has come a long way since her family first moved in, slowly “coming out of her shell” and self-professed anti-social tendencies. Nowadays, when she walks around, she talks to neighbors, checking in on how they’re doing, even encouraging them to join her and her kids at the playground. She and her neighbors look out for each other and instill that in their children and the neighborhood kids. On hot afternoons, they set up a shallow inflatable pool outside of their unit for neighborhood children to cool off and have fun with supervision.
The opportunities and activities for children is what drew them to Kahauiki Village: the Parents and Children Together (PACT) Childcare Center, Kahauiki Village’s Children’s Enrichment Program, and regular community social and educational events. Each program offers different opportunities for her family to spend time learning and growing together. Growing up in Waianae, a place Chevalee describes as “more country living” and with limited opportunities for her kids, Kahauiki Village has opened the door to new friendships and new opportunities for the entire family.
Tending the land, teaching the next generation
Chevalee rarely finds herself with free time, something many parents can relate to. As a stay-at-home mom, she spends her days instilling in her keiki the value of hardwork and family. When she does have the chance for alone time, she urges her family to do something together: go to the beach or park. Daily she encourages her children to be responsible, resilient, and educated – but to remember that time with family is something to cherish.
She was part of the inaugural Taking Root Urban Agriculture cohort, a pre-vocational program offered by the IHS Hele2Work Employment Program. Since taking the course, Chevalee’s garden has flourished and expanded to two raised flower beds and a few fruit trees. As she tends to her garden, she teaches her children about the harvest of consistent hard work and how to care for the land. When they grow more than their family needs, they give the surplus to neighbors, saying, “that’s what we do, I do, we look out for each other.”