E Hoʻohāpai nā Kamalei, pronounced “Eh ho-oh-haa-pai naah kah-mah-lay” with “aa” denoting a longer “a” sound, is Hawaiian for “carry the children”. E Hoʻohāpai nā Kamalei, otherwise known as Nā Kamalei, was started in 2008 by Kristin Speltz and has been offering assistance to babywearers every third Tuesday of the month.
Last month, Nā Kamalei officially became Babywearing International of Oʻahu (BWI of Oʻahu). In addition, the casual babywearing community on Facebook, “Babywearing in Oahu”, became the “Babywearing International of Oahu” Facebook group and is moderated by the BWI of Oʻahu leaders.
What does this mean for our community, you might wonder? We will continue to offer all of our babywearing activities (playgroups, meet ups, classes, etc) but have some additional resources in regards to continuing education, funding, and expanding our lending library. Better yet, we have joined forces with an international advocacy organization called Babywearing International (BWI), which is well established in the babywearing community. This alignment gives our advocacy and education efforts more momentum and allows us to participate in a larger, more established babywearing collective.
Babywearing International of Oʻahu is co-organized and led by Steffany Kerr and Kristin Speltz. The rest of the chapter leadership include Ashley Williams, Cheryll Aldridge, Deidre Jones, Kai Ibara, Michelle Ream, and Yun Yi. Everyone has undergone the assessment and application process through BWI and are babywearing volunteer educators (VBEs). In addition to current, safe babywearing practices and access to educational resources to better serve the community, becoming a VBE covers the educators with liability insurance.
We are excited to launch this new chapter of Babywearing International on Oʻahu and expand our advocacy and education efforts! Check this blog for new posts on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.