Make a difference TOGETHER with immediate support through Mānowai

Jan. 31, 2024

When Native Hawaiian artist Kukui Mahoney got the call to work on a new mural in support of the Pauahi Foundation, the creative painter jumped at the opportunity to bring attention to the new Mānowai Scholarship fund.

Mahoney and fellow artists from 808 Urban collaborated with the Pauahi Foundation to paint a large mural within “The Barn” at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako on ‘Āina Pauahi. The concept of kalo leaves within a vast lo‘i kalo represents the donors who have contributed to the Mānowai fund as donors who make a gift of $500 or more are included on the custom-painted wall and remain there for a year before the piece is updated annually in November with renewed and new gifts.

Mahoney recalls suggesting that the concept feature “the water spreading through the lo‘i and how agriculture is important to how that water flows from mauka to makai in that cycle. I’m part of something bigger and the people who contributed to and supported this project are celebrated for helping bring this mural to life.”

Mānowai translates to represent a dam or source of water for distribution in ‘auwai (open channels through which water flows). The mānowai plays a vital role in traditional Native Hawaiian agricultural practices as water is collected and redirected into one or more ʻauwai to bring life and nourishment to the lo‘i situated in their paths.

As a revolving scholarship fund, the Mānowai Scholarship is the Pauahi Foundation’s newest scholarship program supporting Native Hawaiian haumāna in their post-secondary endeavors. In just a few months since it was introduced in November 2023, the Mānowai Scholarship program has raised more than $32,000 resulting in 21 scholarships distributed for academic year 2024-25 and 11 more pending for AY 2025-26 in addition to funds raised at an upcoming Mānowai event.

Mānowai was created to address the growing need for scholarships as the ratio of applicants to scholarship awardees currently stands at five to one. By supplementing the Pauahi Foundation’s endowed scholarship program, Mānowai provides immediate support by increasing the availability of scholarships as gifts of $1,000 are awarded to students in the following academic year.

“The Mānowai Scholarship campaign engages a broad spectrum of community members who believe in the power of education,” says Pauahi Foundation Executive Director Pono Ma‘a KSK’82. “Through this exciting new collaboration, we’re working together to create innovative solutions that have an immediate impact on uplifting the next generation of learners and leaders.”

Gifts to the Mānowai Scholarship fund may be made as one-time gifts or monthly recurring donations. Every dollar donated by November of the current calendar year to the Mānowai Scholarship fund will be awarded during the following academic year’s scholarship cycle. Donors may also choose to make a gift of any size, as all gifts received are combined to create $1,000 awards.

To learn more about the Mānowai Scholarship revolving fund, please contact To donate to the Mānowai Scholarship program and learn more about this special fund, visitānowai.

Mahoney offers advice to aspiring artists who may be inspired by her continued growth as an artist: “Keep going and keep that vision alive! Even if it’s one sketch a day or one mural a year, make it happen.”

Learn more about the work 808 Urban is doing in local communities at