Honolulu, HI

Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange

Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange

Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, a federally qualified health center, sees factors like self-confidence, social connection, and cultural pride as critical for achieving health and wellbeing. These factors are sorely lacking in their community, a densely populated urban area where socioeconomic inequity is rife and nearly 40% of residents are immigrants who feel dislocated from their homelands. To help Kalihi Valley’s men and boys heal and thrive, the health center and its partners incorporate the community’s rich cultural traditions into leadership training and multi-generational mentoring at a local bicycle exchange, among other activities.

How They're Solving the Problem

How They're Solving the Problem

Poverty, loss of cultural identity, and low-educational attainment have put men and boys living in Kokua Kalihi Valley (KKV) at risk of depression, stress, and other mental health challenges.

Coalition partners are collaborating to implement the following activities:

  • KKV and its partners created the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE). Few, if any, bike shops in the world advance wellbeing and holistic health in a similar way. KVIBE provides opportunities for physical activity, healthy transportation, training in bike mechanics, and leadership development internships.
  • KVIBE organizes culture circles at the bike shop to help young men understand where they come from and why they matter. Participants support one another as mechanics and mentors, and take part in dialogue about their cultures, individual gifts, and potential.
  • The Nakem Leadership Institute at KVIBE is a positive youth development program that has taken educational trips to places like Albuquerque and Tokyo, always making sure to visit local bike shops.
  • KVIBE also organized the Kalihi Ahupuaa Ride, an eight-mile educational bike ride that includes “story stops” where riders can learn about the cultural and historical significance of each place and its role in transforming the face of Kalihi. The annual ride is designed and led by KVIBE youth leaders.



Because of this program, men and boys in Kalihi are healthier in mind, body, and spirit. Through a deep and constant engagement with the programming, men and boys in Kalihi are closer to their dreams—they have tried something new; shared a meal with a loved one; led a circle of men and boys to express their feelings; practiced cultural protocols; and cultivated the feeling of home where ever they are. Most of the men and boys felt that they healed someone; laughed with someone; cried; said “I Love You”; and showed more gratitude in life.  

Young men have taken on leadership roles at KVIBE where they use their voices and natural gifts to advance wellbeing. Not only are they mentoring younger boys in their community, but they are shifting organizational practices to be more responsive to the experiences of young men in Kalihi.

A healthy man and boy means a healthy community—a connected community!



Participating Organizations

 Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services

Honolulu Aina



Check Out these Podcasts and Videos

KVIBE: Mobilizing Young Men in the Kalihi Valley Community through Biking

KVIBE Kalihi Ahupua'a Ride 2018

KVIBE supporting the Movember campaign


Photo Credit for all Photos: KKV Staff