Hands to Hearts International (HHI) was founded in 2004,originally designed to prevent Attachment Disorder in orphanages, HHI grew to be broad-reaching community outreach program that has radically improved attachment, as well as overall child health and development in some of the world’s most challenging environments.
By training and supporting caregivers to improve early childhood development (ECD) (birth – 3), health/hygiene/nutrition and develop attachment and bonding, a broad spectrum of problems can be prevented.
HHI has created an innovative one-dose, low-cost, scalable program that reaches children in the world’s most marginalized communities by directly working with mothers, other caregivers, day care workers, birth attendants, orphanage caregivers and health workers.
HHI works with local partners, mobilizing communities to provide education in early childhood development (ECD), psycho-stimulation, nutrition, health/hygiene, play and baby massage.
HHI’s program awakens the nurturing ability inherent in all persons, with the highest quality information, all delivered in interactive and culturally relevant sessions applying the communities own songs, dance, stories and games.
We teach caregivers to improve their ability to nurture a child's language, social, cognitive and physical development, as well as their nutrition and overall health, all while building attachment and bonding which establishes the base for all future relationships.
Laura p.hhi unesco
HHI originally began working inorphanages in Chennai, India in 2006.
Hands to Hearts International(HHI) reaches the worlds neediestchildren — at the most critical time ofzero to three —by educating andempowering caregivers with simple,applicable and culturally relevantknowledge.
HHI’s Training Includes: Introduction to the Importance of ECD Physical Development Cognitive and Brain Development Language Development and Baby Cues Social and Emotional Development Baby Massage Health, Hygiene, Nutrition, and Sanitation
One of the most important lessons we teach are Baby Cues
Impact of HHI:Mothers, Fathers & Caregivers-more nurturing and gentle-practiced better hygiene & sanitation-improved nutrition-more confident-better advocate for child-greater pride in their role-happier-more time interacting with child-train others on their new knowledge-stop corporal punishment-fathers become active caregivers
Impacts of HHI:“No babies have died since” Children -sick less often -recovered faster when ill –less curative health care -weight gain -better digestion & sleep -easier to soothe -happier-earlier/greater lang. development -improved overall development -reported to be more “smart”
Why HHI works?• Everyone loves their children• Development follows the same timeline/pattern – regardless of culture, teaching about this does not have to be complicated• Focus on what they can do!• Creates a self-sustaining positive feedback loop• We deliver!• Keep it low-tech and cost effective• All local trainers, members of the communities• Empower women in large groups – she is not alone in her new ideas
When applied at scale Hands to Hearts International is “cheaper than providing only one vitamin A supplement to a child.” Victor Aguayo, UNICEF
HHI Master Trainer Leads 2 TOT (and on-going support) 24 Certified HHI Trainers Lead 24 – 48 trainings/month Total of 288 – 526 trainings/year Each YearYearly Reach 7,200 – 14, 400 Community Caregivers 14,400 – 21,600 Community Children An example of partnership & scaling up.
Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) researched HHI as an innovative and noteworthy practices with global potential.
USAID recognized HHIas a Promising Approachto serve young children& families coping withHIV/AIDS
Learn More at www.handstohearts.orgLaura Peterson, MAFounder & Executive Directorlaura@handstohearts.org+ (503) 936-5574