Pilina ʻĀina, formerly known as Teaching Change, is a collaborative program of the USDA Forest Service, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests (AFTF). In the Hawaiian language pilina means relationship, and 'āina; land, earth – that which feeds us. As Pilina ʻĀina, we work to encourage, facilitate, and/or enhance students, teachers, and community relationships to 'āina through immersive and empowering ʻāina-based learning opportunities. Ultimately the experiences provided by Pilina ʻĀina are tailored to be extensions of the classroom and catalysts for haumāna (students) and kumu (teachers) to continue to seek and participate in aloha ʻāina learning, and stewardship with the Hawaiʻi values kuleana (responsibility), pono (goodness), aloha (love) and ha'aha'a (humility) at their core.
Pilina ʻĀina firmly believes that through collaborative efforts and the integration of biocultural perspectives deeply rooted in Hawaiʻi life ways, haumāna, kumu and kaiāulu (community members) will walk away with a deeper pilina and greater appreciation for ʻāina, as well as tools essential for caring for the ʻāina they call home.