The Multicultural HIPPY program addresses many issues that immigrants and refugees confront when they arrive in their new country. These include language and cultural barriers, low levels of literacy, professional accreditation issues, and limited awareness of various democratic processes and societal practices.
The Multicultural HIPPY Program was developed to support the mother as the first and most important teacher of her child. HIPPY provides newcomers with information that helps reduce language and cultural barriers, helps inform participants of other services in the community, raises awareness of “how things work” in Canada, and encourages newcomers to actively participate in the community and in the school.
The HIPPY program hires current and past mothers in the program as Home Visitors. They are often from the same community and reach out to the isolated mothers in their own homes. They provide practical information and structured lessons that enable the newcomers to gain confidence in their own capacity to help prepare their children for entering school. Many Home Visitors report that this was their first job in Canada. As a result of participating in the program, many HIPPY parents report that they have decided to go to school themselves to achieve literacy or career goals.