Last week HHI led caregiver trainings at an orphanage for disabled children. This is some of the most important work HHI does, as it is common in India for disabled children to be a source of shame or fear, either kept hidden (and therefore neglected) in the backs of homes, or abandoned to orphanages to be raised by strangers. Regardless of where these children live though, they are rarely touched, no one wants to hurt them, or worse they may be viewed with some disgust or shame, as they are not “normal” and may only be seen as an incredible strain on meager resources. But, they are children, and therefore HHI knows they need love and they likely need touch to help ease their physical pain more than anyone who is not challenged by a disability.
Since our training is very active, the children are a critical part of the experience, they are our best teachers. But last week, these children were very shy, they were not quick to jump into the games or activities and they did not want to get the baby massage. I don’t think they were used to playing or getting involved with their nannies. But, slowly, with lots of coaxing and encouragement, a few brave little ones stepped forward and somewhat reluctantly they assumed the “please massage me position”. Quickly they realized they had just made a brilliant move!
These previously untouched children were now soaking up the smiles, eye contact, love and connection of baby massage! And, they found that the massage helped ease some of their physical discomfort. And the previously shy, insecure and over-worked caregivers were reveling in the shared joy too! They saw that their love was being soaked up and reflected right back to them. Now, everyday at this orphanage, all work stops from 11 to noon each day and the children all assume the PLEASE massage me positions! They lie down with their friends and wait patiently to receive their daily gift of love.
This is why HHI was created! This simple change is anything but simple to these women and children – their lives will never be the same.
If you want to share HHI’s baby massage with your own child, or a new parent, your purchase of HHI’s instructional Baby Massage DVD for $25 will not only support you, but it will assist in funding the important work that HHI is up to for tens-of-thousands of babies in need. See a preview and Buy one today!