Reviving Hope and Home (RHH) is a modified HIPPY program that focuses on helping refugee claimant, refugee and immigrant mothers settle in Canada. RHH is individualized by an outreach worker who assesses each family’s needs and develops a plan to deliver the right services at the right time. Home Visitors are trained to provide referrals and resources to families. Some of the curriculum is translated to help mothers comprehend the material. Additional curriculum is used based on the individual family’s needs. The focus of the program is for low-income and isolated families to stay connected to essential services while also working with their children on school-readiness. RHH allows families the flexibility to move through the curriculum at their own pace.
Each refugee arrives in our country with hopes for a promising future and a chance to leave worries behind. They are nevertheless met with uncertainty in their new home to which they carry the scars of trauma resulting from the abuse, exploitation, fear, and loss commonly experienced during their forced displacement. These experiences may be compounded by post-trauma emotional and physical health issues, and lack of familiarity with local culture and of social support. The resettlement process is especially difficult for women who, relative to their male counterparts, often have lower foreign language skills and limited formal education.
The situation is worse for refugee claimants. In addition to enduring the barriers described above, their claimant status significantly limits their access to settlement services. They lack adequate healthcare, housing, appropriate language training, and legal representation. For many, their status as a refugee claimant remains unresolved over a prolonged period, jeopardizing successful resettlement.
HIPPY’s experience demonstrates that the driving force behind taking on the challenges of resettlement for most refugee mothers is to secure the safety and success of their children. Every mother wants the best for her child. This motivation is so compelling that refugee, immigrant and non-status mothers who have otherwise remained detached from Canadian life are willing to start participating in activities once they understand how it will improve life for their children.
The MMC leverages this motivation and uses trust-building and practical, individualized assistance as a means of engaging mothers (and children) to support them in realizing their full potential in Canada.
Reviving Hope and Home Partners: ISSofBC