Sustainable Business

Hands to Hearts International

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Hands to Hearts International (HHI) is a fabulous Portland non profit founded on two intertwining principles: To nurture children and empower women in developing countries. To develop secure bonds and attachments, children need consistent care from safe, predictable, and nurturing caregivers -setting the stage for future all relationships. Unfortunately, many orphanages in developing countries lack adequate resources and their staff has little to no training on the importance of early childhood development.

HHI began operations in February 2006, in Southern India. It provides a simple to apply education to caregivers. They learn about language, social, cognitive and physical skills necessary for healthy early childhood development and how they can promote a child’s growth in each area as well as the vital importance of attachment and bonding.

In their first year of operations, HHI trained 285 women, from more than 30 orphanages. Their reach is impacting the health of more than 1,470 orphaned and vulnerable children. Orphanage Directors report that after an HHI training: the children were sick less often, recovered quicker (thereby needing less medicines), showed increased weight gain, and were easier to soothe. The caregivers took greater pride in their work, were seen to be more nurturing and responsive to the babies, the hygiene was improved and in general living conditions were enhanced, and the list went on!

The gTeam here contributed to the organisation last month and in doing so sponsored an entire orphanage – which means that HHI was able to train and employ 30 local women to nurture up to 150 babies. This means they will be touched, held, rocked, read to and cared for for the first time in their tiny lives. The little ones even did a fashion show and sent these pics!

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