Yahi’s HIPPY Story: ‘Knowing that both of my boys thrive at school thanks to HIPPY program makes me a happy, confident and successful mother.’
Yahi was a Home Visitor at Working Women Community Centre’s downtown HIPPY Toronto site for three years, after going through the program as a mother with her youngest son. Experiencing the HIPPY program from both sides provided Yahi with an especially thorough understanding of HIPPY and the many benefits it brings to mothers, families, and the community.
In Yahi’s Words…
I learned about the HIPPY program by seeing a flyer in a community centre five years ago. When I read it, HIPPY caught my attention as it resonated with what I needed.
The HIPPY program has given me a confidence in my role as a mother and as an immigrant woman.
At home, HIPPY is the time of special moments when we learn, have a fun and grow together. HIPPY is more than just a package of structured activities for my family. It is a whole experience that will last forever! I can understand better how my children think and learn, as they are confident to show me how they implement the knowledge acquired and practiced in HIPPY and in school, in their everyday lives. Thanks to HIPPY and its Adopt-a-Reader campaign, they also developed a genuine love for books and we got to the point of reading more than 30 to 45 minutes every night, as they just do not want to stop reading!
My youngest son loves HIPPY very much. He asks for more activities as he sees them as a reward.
Knowing that both of my boys thrive at school thanks to HIPPY program makes me a happy, confident and successful mother.
Parents Benefit Too
I have always thought that if we want a better world, we should invest in our children. However, HIPPY has taught me that in order to raise children who are happy, healthy and prepared to succeed in their lives, their parents must be prepared too, because children not only learn from what they are told, but from what they see and what they are exposed to every single day.
A Home Visitor’s Perspective
Working as a HIPPY Home Visitor for the past three years, I have observed how HIPPY works and benefits other families at different levels. I have seen its empowering process in action. HIPPY believes mothers can do their best in shaping their children’s future by being their first and best teachers.
It is not just an idea, it is the HIPPY reality and I am amazed to see how strengthening what seems like a small cognitive or life skill can really make a huge personal or social change!
Last year was my third and last year in HIPPY as a Home Visitor. I feel grateful, as I have benefited greatly participating and working for the program. I have learned a lot about parenting, child development, adult learning, settlement and community development. I learned a lot about myself too. I have developed more empathy for families from different backgrounds and have been a part of a great home visitors’ team led by an outstanding site coordinator who is inclusive and understanding and who always encourages and supports us to move forward. I respect her openness to our new ideas on how we can improve our services.
Transitioning to Life After HIPPY
I will miss visiting families every week and talk about your children progress. I wish to continue to contribute and help others as I feel I have much to give back to my community. Therefore, in September of this year, I am going to start a career of Social Service worker at Seneca College.
Today, I am a confident mom who makes her children proud of her; I am a last year’s recipient of the Outstanding HIPPY Home Visitor reward and I am an immigrant woman who can lead a successful life, because I really believe I can do it!