Residential Youth Services & Empowerment (RYSE) and Kupa ‘Aina

Posted on Jul 24, 2020 in News, Success Stories

Youth residents from RYSE are given the chance to learn about food sustainability and natural farming practices at Kupa ʻAina.

Kupa ʻAina, a program of Partners in Development Foundation, is centered on restoring indigenous foods and food systems for the people of Hawaii to support the eradication of poverty by improving food equity for future generations.

Now in the second year of operation, Kupa ‘Aina operates a five-acre demonstrative commercial luau farm practicing natural farming methods to establish a commercially viable natural farming model of food production through social enterprise. 

The farm is located on the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF), a 400-acre campus next to the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center.  Residents from neighboring youth-homeless shelter, Residential Youth Services & Empowerment (RYSE), are given the chance to learn about food sustainability and natural farming practices through RYSE’s “$40 for 4” work stipend program. 

The shelter houses a total of 20 young men and women from 18 to 24.  On-site GED prep and vocational training is provided along with access to drug treatment and behavioral health programs

Participating 18- to 24-year-old residents are paid $40 in exchange for 4 hours of work at Kupa ʻAina.  In addition to providing opportunities to build positive life skills, RYSE provides homeless youth with 24/7 access to a safe temporary living space specifically designed to address their unique needs and build a path toward reintegration into mainstream society.  Residents are provided with medical attention, clothing/meals, shower and laundry facilities, counseling, job training/employment assistance, and GED education. 

For more information on Residential Youth Services & Empowerment (RYSE) or its $40 for 4 program, visit its website,, or call 808-498-5180. You can also email RYSE at [email protected]