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Keiki-Heroes

Keiki Heroes promotes health education materials that are culturally relevant and age-appropriate to support the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of children in Hawai‘i. We believe that keiki can be heroes by helping themselves and others to adopt healthy habits to support community health. As of 2022, Keiki Heroes became a project under Hawai‘i Public Health Institute.

Keiki Heroes Pledge

The Keiki Heroes Pledge is designed to encourage a positive mindset and reinforce healthy behaviors in our keiki. These empower our keiki to stay healthy and encourage those around them to do the same. Our keiki can be heroes – they can play an important part in keeping our community healthy.

Our Heroes – Kai and Hōkū

The Keiki Heroes program shares messages through two adorable mascots – Kai and Hōkū – who model positive behaviors like hand-washing, proper mask-wearing, knowing symptoms and physical distancing.

These adorable characters were created by Yuko Green, a Hawaii Children’s book author and illustrator, and Gum Design.

Kai and Hōkū Story

Kai - Keiki Heroes
Kai
Hoku - Keiki Horoes
Hōkū

Kai and Hōkū are cousins who live on the Big Island.

Their moms are sisters. They’ve spent their entire lives playing together, going to the beach together, and are best friends. Even when they’re in separate classes at school, they always talk at lunch and recess. Sometimes, they trade lunches when Hoku’s mom packs her famous musubi. No one makes musubi like Kai’s Auntie! Whenever Kai or Hōkū has a problem, the other one is there to help.

Corona Virus Keiki Heroes

At the end of the 2020 school year, things changed.

Kai and Hōkū were supposed to go to visit their other cousin over Spring Break, but their moms canceled the trip. All of a sudden, they weren’t allowed to hang out on the weekends.

Then school was canceled! At first, they were super excited, no school—this must be what their cousin on the mainland meant when she talked about snow days. But then they had to start taking classes on the computer. It was really hard for them both.

And they noticed that their families were really worried and started talking about “Coronavirus”, “COVID” and “COVID-19”.  What was this new “Coronavirus” and why did it mean Kai and Hōkū couldn’t do all the things they loved, like visiting each other, seeing Tūtū, and going to school and seeing their friends?

Hōkū

One day, Hōkū’s mom gave her a mask to wear for when they went to the store.

Once Hōkū put the mask on, she was no longer just a little girl, but a Keiki Hero. The mask gave her the power to protect herself, her family and her friends from Coronavirus.

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Ola

When Hōkū got home, she came across a bird that began speaking to her.

The bird was Ola. She was a wise bird, a kumu, who started to share secrets of how to be a Keiki Hero with Hōkū.

Keiki Heroes - Kai
Kai

Hōkū was so excited about her new powers and her new friend Ola.

She just had to share these new powers with Kai, so she asked her mom to help her find a mask for Kai. They dropped the mask off at Kai’s home and once Kai put on his mask, he also became a Keiki Hero!

Together Kai and Hōkū are now Keiki Heroes!  Their mission: help keiki protect themselves, their ‘ohana, and all their friends and teachers.

Join Us

When you sign up for the Keiki Heroes newsletter, you’ll receive updates from us with new resources and program highlights. We all have an important role in empowering keiki to achieve their best health.




Our Mission

Keiki Heroes promotes health education materials that are culturally relevant and age-appropriate to support the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of children in Hawai‘i. We believe that keiki can be heroes by helping themselves and others to adopt healthy habits to support community health.

Your tax-deductible donation funds Keiki Heroes’ content development and distribution. Email keikiheroes@hiphi.org to find out easy ways to donate monetary, time, and talent!

As of 2022, Keiki Heroes became a project under Hawai‘i Public Health Institute.

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