HIPPY Families and Communities
HIPPY helps families who want to move beyond barriers of risk. More often than not, risk means socio-economic distress – poverty which frequently becomes a perpetual and tragic generation-to-generation cycle. This cycle can be broken, however, by quality education from preschool through further education, opening up employment and higher income opportunities.
Poverty is often the lot of native and immigrant ethnic communities, because past or present discriminatory policies, language and cultural barriers impact on them, dragging them into the poverty cycle if appropriate support and guidance is not accessible. HIPPY works in many countries with native and immigrant communities, for example, Aboriginal communities in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where Maori communities are also served; the Arab community in Israel – in itself made up of diverse groups, and immigrant populations of Ethiopian and former Soviet Union origins; Hispanic and African American communities in the USA; and Turkish immigrant groups in Germany. In developed countries such as these, and in the developing countries of South Africa and Argentina, HIPPY supports families who want to help their children break out of marginalizing constraints and succeed in the larger society in which they live.
Such support is a complex matter and there is no ‘one solution fits all’. HIPPY relates sensitively to all the communities it serves, providing materials in the language preferred by the parents and community and encourages the production and use in each country program of native language and/or bilingual story-books and CDs. The paraprofessional HIPPY Home Visitor is able to make the most comfortable link between the curriculum materials and the families, because s/he is from their community.