Nā Koa Makapō (Visually Impaired Warriors)

Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club is dedicated to enhancing the health wellness and quality of life of all young warriors in our community including the makapō (visually impaired).  Our new program took root in the summer of 2015 when we were approached by a special needs teacher at a local elementary school.   Without hesitation we embraced these kamaliʻi and taught these kamaliʻi makapō (visually impaired children) the basics of paddling a Hawaiian outrigger canoe and got them on the water.  They engage in the same activities as all of the other keiki learning chants, prayers, history, and hand-crafts.  They also learn how to lash together the waʻa (canoe).

We are looking forward to having our “Nā Koa Makapō” crew race at our Keiki Heihei Waʻa (youth canoe regatta), part of the San Diego Shaka Fest, on Saturday April 23, 2016 at Crown Point on beautiful Mission Bay.

The benefits of Physical Activity
The benefits of physical activity participation for students with special needs are the same as other children.

They include:

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Reduction of disease risk
  • Skill development
  • Socialization
  • Social-emotional well-being
  • Greater confidence
  • Decreased body fat
  • Greater attention

In addition, specific benefits to kamaliʻi with special needs may include:

  • Control progress of chronic disease
  • Manage functional decline
  • Mediate the psychological and social impact of the disability
  • Increase independence
  • Facilitate life skill competencies
  • Greater inclusion in family/community life
  • Enhance socialization

All of our haumāna are taught to mālama kekahi I kekahi ( take care of one another) regardless of ability.  This is a one of the core values taught at Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club.

This program is a prerequisite for our Nā Koa Makapō before they can participate in our “Mālama Maui Program”.