H.O.P.E (Helping Orphans Progress Emotionally) is a program that strives to promote emotional and cognitive development through sensory stimulation and educational play in the orphaned infants and toddlers at the Rita Zniber Foundation’s “Le Nid” Orphanage.
Do Children in Institutional Care Progress Normally?
Unfortunately, the answer is NO.
Studies show that being loved, touched and spoken to are key components in helping a child thrive. Studies show that when there is an absence of nurturing and attention in infancy and early life the affects are catastrophic.
What Can We Do to Help?
The H.O.P.E Program will develop the children’s social and cognitive skills, help the children mature emotionally, and allow them to gain the confidence and comfort required to engage in new experiences and environments.
The H.O.P.E Program will use your valuable donations for the following:
- To sponsor the salary for an individual dedicated to engaging the children in learning through play and spending time emotionally stimulating them. This individual will provide the infants with time outside of their cribs playing with developmental toys provided by the program. This individual will also be responsible for running a volunteer program that encourages community members to visit the orphanage and help provide nurturing, attention and learn-through-play activities. Additionally, a file with pictures and milestones and regular evaluations will be created for each child.
- Purchasing age appropriate developmental toys for the orphanage.
Amina Shams serves as the H.O.P.E Program Coordinator. She has an MPH from Tulane University with concentrations in Maternal & Child Health and Health Education & Communications. Amina adopted her third child, Younes, from Le Nid. It was through her adoption experience that Amina came to intimately understand the emotional deprivation that the children face and was moved to create this program. As the founder and coordinator, Amina will use evidence based research to direct the H.O.P.E. employee(s) and volunteers regarding what tools and methods of play and stimulation should be used to best engage the infants and toddlers.