Tag: Early Childhood Development

HHI Launches in the US!

We’ve trained mommies, daddies, orphanage and day care staff, health care workers, prison inmates, extended family members and all sorts of other caregivers. We’ve trained them in India, Russia, Uganda and Swaziland but never in the United States! 

We are excited to report that last week HHI led its first training in the US, in our hometown of Portland, OR.  We trained 15 staff from the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization’s (IRCO) parenting department as a pilot project for what we hope will be a much larger project in 2013.  By partnering with IRCO we’ll be able to further our mission to serve moms, dads and babies, by supporting the immigrant and refugee families living in Portland and the surrounding area.  Each year, IRCO serves nearly 40,000 people and the potential reach of our partnership is huge.

The training included a sampling of information and activities from HHI’s entire curriculum.  We played games, made up stories, searched for everyday items that could be used to promote development, and played charades.

IRCO staff participants reported that the most important thing they learned during HHI’s training was, “Parents/caregivers are the most important people in a child’s life and providing education, support and guidance to parents can go a long way in building healthy parent/child interactions.” As well as, how to “make parenting fun and meaningful.”

When asked how they would change their work with the clients they serve, answers included: “Focus more on empowering parents to be connected to their children, to build that essential attachment that will impact the life of the child and parents in a positive way.”  And, “Using what is available with parents both what they have physically and positive parenting traits they possess.”  IRCO staff were in full alignment with HHI’s core values.

IRCO staff were from a wide variety of countries and cultures, including: Romania, Russia, Mexico, US, Somalia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.  And while everyone, from every culture, around the globe, loves their babies – no baby ever comes with an instruction manual!

Our thanks to Danita Huynh for all of her hard work and enthusiasm in putting this project together!  Our thanks also to Sokhom Tauch and Jeff McDonald, IRCO’s leadership; to Valerie Palmer, the Chair of IRCO’s Board of Directors; and to David Pyle, Chair of HHI’s Board of Directors and Sarah Newhall, founding member of IRCO’s Board of Directors.  Each of you, joined together in a mutual commitment to service and to making our world a better place – you are succeeding, THANK YOU!

“Cuddle Your Kid” – Great Advice!

New York Times Op-Ed writer, Nicholas Kristof wrote “Cuddle Your Kid” and again highlights the new and old science that is demonstrating the critical importance of a young child’s environment.  He writes that:

“character strengths that matter so much to young people’s success are not innate; they don’t appear in us magically, as a result of good luck or good genes. And

they are not simply a choice. They are rooted in brain chemistry, and they are molded, in measurable and predictable ways, by the environment in which kids grow up. That means the rest of us — society as a whole — can do an enormous amount to influence their development.”

This article explains the reasons that HHI was founded and the important mission of our work.  It validates HHI’s  belief that you don’t need advanced degrees, fancy toys, money or special tricks to provide the most essential ingredient in human “success”: love, snuggles, hugs, and smiles are the most powerful of tools!  HHI knows that every parent wants the best for their children, though many parents undervalue their own power in building their baby’s brain development, early learning and health.


Parents, caregivers, teachers, health workers and all the rest of us, we have the power to create a better future for our children and all children – give a smile and get started now!

Thank you Mr. Kristof!


Sujatha shares her HHI testimony


“I am blessed that I was trained by HHI as I gained more knowledge about care giving for babies. I don’t see this as a work rather I take it as a challenge and a glorious opportunity given to me to bring up a better tomorrow in every child’s life. Feeling proud to be a part of HHI’s global team.

I strongly felt that the reason for HHI programme’s success with small budget are the best co-ordination of grass roots level beneficiaries (i.e. mothers) and HHI’s highly professionalized training modules.”

-Sujatha, HHI’s Master Trainer in Tamil Nadu, India, leads HHI mommy trainings every month. She has also been our lead trainer since day one when HHI began our work at the orphanage run by Madras Social Service Guild (MASOS) in Chennai. Sujatha has also trained all of our other HHI trainers, around India and she worked in Uganda to launch our project there.

Thank you, Sujatha, for your kind words and even more for your love and dedication to HHI and all of the mommies, daddies, caregivers and babies that you help bring HHI’s message to!


Be Inspired ~ Voices From the Field

Read about HHI’s work and impact, from three different perspectives, from three different continents.

Our thanks to the women who shared their stories and to Laura Barker for capturing and writing them and Kara North for putting them into such a beautiful publication!

If you would like a copy of this booklet, please email us your name and mailing address. We would be happy to mail copies for free within the US.

ARNEC Publishes Research on HHI

The Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) just published its research on HHI’s work in India, titled “Empowering Caregivers for Holistic Child Development”. (Click for report)

Their findings are overwhelmingly positive, including quotes such as HHI “holds great potential” teaching caregivers “new practices of nutrition and hygiene, new attitudes towards child development, and improvements in cognitive and linguistic abilities.”  It praises HHI on being able to localize our content and reach the most marginalized, tribal groups, while also being extremely cost-effective.  And, it goes on at length describes how and why HHI works so well for so many.

In 2010, ARNEC chose HHI as one of four sites to document innovative and noteworthy practices in early childhood. HHI was selected out of applications from throughout the Asia-Pacific region and was the only program chosen in all of India for this privilege.

We give our deepest thanks to ARNEC for this opportunity, to Miriam Thangaraj the dedicated researcher, to our tremendous colleagues at Viswa Yuva Kendra in Orissa, India, and to our brilliant curriculum writers Christine Chaille and Frank Mahler.