Every person is a unique seed in the world’s garden.
Each seed grows a leader from which greatness can blossom.
Imagine the future of our planet if we nurture each child to sprout greatness.
— Debra J. Slover

Hands to Hearts International (HHI) - Compassion Project

Can hugs and kisses save a village?Hands to Hearts International Logo

HHI thinks so and so do we here at Leadership Garden Legacy. In fact, HHI demonstrates this daily.

This is why we have awarded a $500 Cultivation Grant to HHI.

Unique Purpose & Aim

"Awakening Love, Kindling Compassion & Saving Lives – Literally" Compassion Project will provide HHI training for 12 preschool teachers, who directly provide daily care for 30 young children in each of their remote villages in India.

According to founder Laura Peterson, "Every time HHI is able to offer a no-cost training to caregivers, more love is awakened, more women are empowered, more children thrive – this is our mission."

In January or February of 2013, HHI trainers based at their partner site of Viswa Yuva Kendra in Odisha, India will lead this Leadership Garden sponsored training in the central district of Angul. This training will be specifically for 12 preschool teachers, each one coming from a different village.

The two-day HHI training covers these topics: Importance of the Caregiver; Physical/Cognitive/Language/Social-Emotional Development; Baby Cues; Baby Massage; and Health, Hygiene, Nutrition & Sanitation.”

This training will directly reach 12 women, and more than 180 young children. Additionally, it will indirectly reach about 240 village mothers who will learn HHI lessons via the teachers at their monthly Mother’s Group meetings. This ripple effect carries new knowledge and awakened love far into the community.

Project Impact

To measure impact, HHI uses a standardized pre- and post-test of knowledge, as well as a follow-up interviews, are used to monitor and evaluate caregiver knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, as well as child health and development outcomes.

Participant pre/post tests demonstrate significant gains in knowledge of child development, as well as more frequent, nurturing and responsive interactions with children. Additionally, they are more aware of child health and are more likely to seek timely medical help, they improve hygiene/sanitation and feeding/nutrition practices.

Post-training outcomes for HHI children include: improved nutrition and health (weight gain, decreased illness); earlier/greater language development; closer bonding, and are easier to soothe. HHI trained orphanages reported results as dramatic as “no babies have died since [HHI] training.

About HHI

HHI was designed to be an easily replicable, low-cost, and culturally adaptable education model. HHI believes that every parent loves their baby, but that love can be suffocated by poverty, disease, mental health challenges, chemical dependency and other crises. HHI’s experiential training program awakens love, while teaching caregivers how they can better their child’s brain development, health and growth regardless of resources or even literacy. By providing quality information on early childhood development, and supporting the universal parenting skills HHI offers a relatively simple, yet elegant solution to a global challenge.

When asked how this grant will strengthen and enhance the HHI organization, Ms. Peterson replied, “HHI believes that to nurture children, women must be empowered. Women who are empowered are more likely to raise healthy, educated, and capable children. When women recognize their own power to contribute to a child’s lifetime foundation for health, learning and societal participation – they act! HHI expands mothers’ and caregivers’ capacity to nurture children’s physical health and mental development while building their capacity to love. This kind of care benefits children, families, communities and our global society.”

To learn more about HHI and how you too can support their effort, visit: http://handstohearts.org/

You can assist HHI in receiving a matching grant from the Greenbaum Foundation that will double your donation by the end of the year here.

HHI, is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of orphaned and vulnerable children and economically disadvantaged women around the globe. Founded in the winter of 2004 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, HHI has worked in 5 countries and touched the lives of 133,355 women/men and babies (and counting).


To read showcase stories of other Cultivation Grants, visit:

School organization: Lena J. Campbell Academy - Transforming My Leadership Potential - Compassion Project in Atlanta, Georgia

Afterschool Community Organization: Baldwin Center Demonstration Project Showcase - Accountability Project in Pontiac, Michigan