How Mana Maoli is Fostering a Sense of Place for the Next Generation

Images by John Hook

Partner content with Subaru Hawaii

Hear from Paula Fuga and members of Mana Maoli’s leadership as they speak on the importance of culturally rooted education.

Subaru Hawai‘i believes in being a positive force in the community, not just with charitable donations but with actions that set an example for others to follow. In this five-part series, musician and Subaru Hawai‘i ambassador Paula Fuga is joined by one of her 13 best friends as she ventures out into the community to meet with passionate changemakers relevant to each of the Subaru Love Promises, areas in which the brand is committed to making a difference: animals, the environment, education, public health, and helping those in need. Get to know Paula, her values, and her path to healing and self-love as she raises awareness about some of the causes closest to her heart, accompanied by the friends who have loved and uplifted her along the way.

Inspired by Subaru Hawai‘i’s love of learning, Paula calls on Mana Maoli, a nonprofit composed of educators, artists, cultural practitioners, and community organizers committed to developing culture-based programs and curricula across 13 schools on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. The organization’s Mana Mele Project, a music and multimedia academy, state-of-the-art mobile studio, and mentorship program featuring some of today’s most influential local musicians, gives keiki access to the arts like never before. 

In this episode, Paula meets with a few of Mana Maoli’s haumana (students) and kumu (teachers), including her best friend and collaborator Brad Watanabe, a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has drawn upon his experience as a professional musician to serve as a longtime producer and instructor for the organization. Hear from Paula, Brad, and members of Mana Maoli’s leadership as they speak on the importance of culturally rooted education and fostering a sense of place for the next generation of learners and innovators.

To put your love in action and learn more about how you can help the amazing organizations in your community, visit