PACT SEAS “Island to Island” Program

PACT SEAS Camp: June 18 - 30, 2015

In 2011, Wild Whale Research Foundation (WWRF) of Hawaii, placed a research vessel in the Balkans, specifically to bring youth on board while they conduct research in the area with the goal to promote hands-on learning, understanding and respect for the environment and marine mammals of the Adriatic Sea. In the summer 2012, PACT initiated an exciting new "peace-building" program for youth (ages 14 - 18) to benefit our ocean environment, in collaboration with WWRF, which has been conducting marine mammal research for more than 30 years primarily in Hawaiian waters. The PACT SEAS program aims to provide an opportunity for more island youth in both the Balkans and Hawaii, to actively engage in a marine education and environmental conservation.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) in Hawaii is planning a world wide voyage of the traditional sailing canoe, Hōkūleʻa to “reinvigorate and perpetuate their indigenous cultures as a way to evolve with the earth, and to respect and heal their local and global environments. In 2013, this voyage began and recently completed it's second year of travels throughout the Pacific Ocean. In 2015, the world-wide voyage will continue as its heads West into new waters and exciting new experiences aboard.

PVS director, Nainoa Thompson has expressed an interest in bringing the Hōkūleʻa to the island of Korcula (off the Adriatic Coast of Croatia), to connect with Hawaii volunteers of the Peace Action Children’s Team (PACT). Through our secular cross-cultural peace-building programs there working with youth from orphanages and refugee camps from around the former Yugoslavia, members of PACT have shared Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit “island to island” for 10 years. Thus, PVS and PACT share a common goal of promoting Hawaiian culture, while educating and encouraging youth worldwide about our responsibility (kuleana) to care for (malama) our land and sea (‘aina ame kai).

PACT will assist youth from specific regions where our programs already already exist, to “prep” these areas that the PVS canoe, Hōkūleʻa may be visiting during their word-wide voyage. PACT will engage with other Hawaii youth groups such as Na Pe'a who share similar goals of perpetuating cultural understanding, as well as marine education and conservation. The groups will track the PVS voyage via technology that virtually allows them to share this historic journey. These young people will already understand the concept of sharing aloha through culture, as well as the importance of protecting that which connects all nations – our oceans, and can be on-site to assist and/or lead the welcome and departure ceremonies with PVS. Thus, the youth will be primed for the messages that PVS would like  to share with the places that they will visit in this long voyage. In this way, PACT will strive to broaden the spectrum of our global peace-building mission through youth and volunteers to share our island “Aloha Spirit” both on land and at sea.