November 14th, 2019

Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange

A Making Connections Film

Fresh air, flowing streams, and lush green mountains embrace the generous people of Kalihi Valley. In contrast, poverty, loss of cultural identity, and low-educational attainment have put men and boys living in Kalihi Valley at risk of depression, stress, and other mental health challenges. Movember is partnering with Prevention Institute and Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (KKV)—a federally qualified health center—as part of the Making Connections initiative to improve mental health and wellbeing for men and boys. 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. 
KKV created the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE) to engage boys and young men in activities that provide safe spaces for them to be physically active, develop their bike mechanical skills, and grow as community leaders. Few, if any, bike shops in the world advance holistic health and wellbeing with a community-focused lens. KVIBE youth support one another as mechanics and mentors, and take part in dialogue about their cultures, individual gifts, and passions. Hosted at the bike shop, Culture Circles ground young men in their ancestral roots and help them reflect on the impact different people have had on their lives. KVIBE's Nakem Leadership Institute deepens their knowledge about popular education methodology and supports their development as young civic leaders.
KVIBE also organizes the Kalihi Ahupua’a 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, which provides them the opportunity to work together as a team to plan a large event for over 60 riders. 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. 
Program manager Kevin Faller shares, “Because of this program, men and boys in Kalihi are healthier in mind, body, and spirit. Through intentional, consistent engagement with the program, 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 traditions; and cultivated the feeling of home wherever 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.”   

A healthy man and boy means a healthy community—a connected community! The video below demonstrates how this community is collaboratively building self-confidence, social connections, and cultural pride which are critical for achieving health and wellbeing.

"KVIBE is not just a bike shop but a place of healing for men." Randell DeJesus

Background on Making Connections: 

The Making Connections initiative was created following a detailed landscape report funded by Movember and developed by Prevention Institute. The report, Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys in the U.S., was released In 2014. This report explored some of the underlying factors contributing to the mental health problems in the U.S. Across the interviews and the reports reviewed, consistent themes, trends, and challenges for men and boys emerged, including: 

  • Disconnection and isolation—from community, peers, family, children and culture—are major factors that undermine men’s mental health. 
  • Trauma, and its associated symptoms of mental and psychological illness, disproportionately impact boys and men of color, in addition to military service members, veterans, and their families. 
  • Stressors such as lack of economic opportunity, unstable economy, growing inequity, and exposure to violence are negatively impacting mental health and wellbeing. 



To date, Movember has invested over $16M USD in the Making Connections initiative. 

Join us this Movember to help us continue this work to stop men dying too young. Sign up to participate or donate now