What can we do to support the 2200 children in Maui County who have had a parent or sibling die?
Nā Keiki O Emalia is a Maui nonprofit organization which offer runs peer support groups in the schools for children who have experienced the death of a loved one. While these groups are not therapy, they are therapeutic for keiki and families.
NKOE is a member of The National Alliance for Grieving Children and will mark Children’s Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, November 21st by hosting a workshop for educators on how student grief manifests in the classroom and will offer training for peer-to-peer group facilitators. For information, visit www.nkoemaui.org, call NKOE Executive Director Dr. Brooke Brown at 808-214-9832, or email [email protected].
Unaddressed grief in childhood can cause depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, truancy, and relationship problems as the child matures and negatively affect them in adulthood.
Currently, NKOE runs several support groups in the schools and a specific late afternoon group for young keiki, also an evening group for middle schoolers and teens. In some groups, children or teens meet in one room, while their adults meet in another room.
Marnie Masuda is an education transformation specialist on Maui and Executive Director of The Creative Core. Having participated in NKOE support groups, NKOE board member Masuda sees NKOE’s unique contribution as providing: “the safe space and time for Maui’s grieving children and families to be acknowledged, heard, supported, and understood.”