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Our Roots



‘Ohana Komputer, a nonprofit corporation, was established in November 2000 by Gigi Davidson, with the purpose of teaching computer skills to disadvantaged residents of the state of Hawai‘i. With support from the McInerny Foundation, ‘Ohana Komputer initiated a project in 2001 for low-income children who live in Kalihi Valley Homes (KKV), where gang membership and drug abuse are serious problems. Through our efforts, 24 kids attended after-school classes at the Community Hall, meeting in groups of eight students each. Using a curriculum that covered operating systems, word processing, telecommunications, spreadsheets, databases, programming, graphics, applied technology, desktop publishing, and multimedia presentations, our focus was on teaching them how to use computers as a tool.

Several months after we established this first pilot site at KKV, we started a second project for both children and adults at seven Kalihi Valley Community Technology Centers and the Palama Settlement In-Community Treatment Program. This more comprehensive approach was the result of collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i’s Center on Disability Studies. Through these technology centers located within parks, schools, housing projects, and social service agencies, we provided computer skills to 81 students (65 children and 16 adults), none of which could have afforded tuition to attend similar classes. We also trained staff members and administrators at the various centers.

In 2002 we launched our first in-school program at Halau Ku Mana, a Hawaiian Charter School of at risk youth, and at an elementary school in an extremely low-income neighborhood.

We continue to make efforts to expand our reach and improve the quality of our programs in the communities we already service. We have collaborated with many organizations to set up new computer labs, and even fielded a cooperative team of middle schoolers to compete in Hawaii’s first ever Botball competition. Here are a few highlights of our successes over the years:

2000 – 2001
  • Initiated our first project in Kalihi Valley Homes, providing after-school classes to 24 students.
  • Collaborated with the University of Hawai‘i’s Center on Disability Studies to start programs at 7 Kalihi Valley Community Technology Centers and the Palama Settlement In-Community Treatment Program (65 children, 16 adults)
2002 – 2003
  • Launched our first in-school program at Halau Ku Mana, a Hawaiian Charter School of at risk youth, teaching all 65 of their students and an elementary school in an extremely low-income neighborhood.
  • Added an after-school program at a neighborhood park across from a low-income housing project.
  • Initiated an after-school computer literacy program with 24 students from Palolo Elementary School, and provided training to teachers at the school
2003 – 2004
  • Added another site in Kalihi at the Susanah Wesley Community Center
  • Competed at the first ever Botball competition in Honolulu with a team of middle schoolers from Our Redeemer Lutheran School and Halau Ku Mana.
  • Ran the first technology component of the Palama Summer Fun Program (135 students)
  • Expanded our curriculum to include web design, computer animation and robotics at Hawaii Baptist Academy.
  • An ‘Ohana Komputer employee began running the Community Technology Center at Palama Settlement due to our success there.
2004 – 2005
  • Collaborated with Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), which runs an art program at Palama for ICRP students, to teach students computer animation while animating the art work they create.
  • Developed a curriculum and internships for youth at Farrington High School in webpage design in collaboration with the Kalihi Business Association.Our Palolo Elementary after-school program grew from 24 students to 135!
  • Began teaching at Central Intermediate School, Kamaile Elementary, Maryknoll, and Pu‘uhale Elementary School
  • Included Seniors in our programs at Susanah Wesley Community Center
2005 – 2006
  • Launched in-school program at Kalihi Elementary School, teaching all 226 students on a weekly basis.
  • By March 2006, we were teaching 750 kids per week at numerous locations across Oahu!
  • Began a new pilot program at the Spalding Boys & Girls Clubhouse with 37 new kids.
  • Offered our first spring break program at the Boys and Girls Club in Papakolea Community Center for 36 kids.
  • Collaborated with Learning for a Lifetime with a pilot at Niu Valley Middle School
2007 – 2008
  • Added Our Redeemer Lutheran School to our in-school programs
  • Added after-school programs at Kamiloiki and Liholiho Elementary Schools
2007 – 2008
  • Opened a new computer lab at the Kukui Children’s Center through collaboration with Kids Hurt Too
2009 – 2010
  • Developed a computer lab at the Makiki Community Library, offering courses to children and seniors.
  • Redesigned curriculum so it is based on Hawaiian geography, history and culture.
  • Started teaching at the Maui Boys & Girls Club’s Central and Lahaina Clubhouse in January 2010.