25 Stories – Anela


Ho’oikaika Ohana means to strive to strengthen one’s family. In order to strengthen a family, you have to begin with a strong foundation.  Peace is critical to building a strong foundation.  Learning to cultivate peace is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far with this program.

When I was with my ex-husband, we never had peace in our home. My kids and I were always “walking on eggshells” and afraid to get him mad. It felt like all our energy was devoted to keeping him calm and we never knew when he would explode next.  As a result, it was difficult for us to grow as a family unit.  Now that he is out of our lives, my kids and I are finally at peace. All the energy we previously spent keeping him calm could now be redirected to strengthening the bonds between us.

The Ho’oikaika Ohana program has been such a blessing to us. Through this program, I have learned many ways to foster peace in our family. I can feel the stress leave my body as soon as I drive into the parking lot every Wednesday evening. As I walk in to our group session each week, I know that there will be many laughs shared with the other women. I know that we will learn a valuable new skill and lessons to help make us stronger in preparation for our new lives. I know that I am part of a sisterhood who understands what my kids and I have been through. I know that no one will judge me for having been in an abusive marriage, nor will they ever ask why I stayed so long with someone who hurt me and my kids. It is an environment that makes me feel very comfortable and at peace. This is the key to helping me build a strong foundation for a bright new future for my ohana.

Mahalo for all that you do for us!

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