Thursday, September 06, 2007

HIPPY Around the World

Home Visit, El Salvador

I had the opportunity to see HIPPY in another cultural context this summer during my visit to El Salvador. It was so interesting to experience the familiarity of HIPPY in such a different context.

It reminded me that 20 years ago I had the opportunity to see HIPPY in Israel when I went to preservice training. At that time all new coordinators had to travel to Israel to receive training from founder Avima Lombard at Hebrew University. I was lucky enough to be sent there and get a feel for the program. Even though the home visits and parent meetings I saw were conducted in Hebrew and I couldn't really understand what was going on, I could feel it! One of the things I took from that experience is that it is an honor to be allowed into people's homes, and the trust we build with families is a sacred bond.

I've had a chance to see HIPPY in action in such varied communities as Bed-Stuy in NYC, rural Colorado, Hawaii, a colonia in Laredo Texas and the island of Guam. Maybe someday I'll get to see more of our international programs. We now have programs in the following:

El Salvador
New Zealand
South Africa
United States

The "simple" model of parents helping parents to prepare their children for school has taken hold and changed the lives of so many families, world wide!

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