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Dr. Loretta Holder-Brown had a dream for two countries; providing access to early intervention and needed therapies to children with little to no access. From that dream she birthed the RISE (Rural Impact Stimulation Environment program) based at the University of Alabama, and HELP (Honduras Early Learning Program), originally based at Teleton Therapy Center in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Friends of Barnabas has been lucky enough to now be in partnership with RISE, and the beneficiary of HELP funding.

This week, 7 staff members from the RISE program at the University of Alabama are at the Barnabas House. Nurses, teachers, a family service coordinator and an early childhood development specialist are working with our staff in fine tuning our Early Childhood Development Program, specifically our activities in the communities we serve.

Today we spent the morning in El Cielito. The team observed Lilian and Pascuala, FOB Community Health Development and Early Childhood Development nurses, teaching mothers about their role in their child's growth and development. Over 30 mothers attended the class, bringing children from 4 months to 5 years old. The team then interviewed mothers in their home environment, assessing what tools they have to support the development of their children.

The team and our FOB medical staff began to discuss challenges faced in educating as well as resources available to make education more effective. There has been an exciting exchange of ideas and dreams for this program. Great things are ahead. Things are always better when done with partners. Stay tuned for the fun activities planned for tomorrow.

~Patti Wagner

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