thematic focus area

civic participation

many communities and individuals are not engaged in defining the processes that shape their lives. patriarchal structures lead to top-down decision-making where active participation is not only not encouraged but may be seen as a challenge or a threat to the leaders that make most of the decisions. as a result, community consultation is limited, with little public accountability of political and community leaders. h2n provides mechanisms, platforms and networks for people to become active participants in the democratic process and the pursuit of social change without dramatically upsetting the social order. providing an outlet for expression through community radio and community groups, h2n catalyzes change by focusing on positive problem solving and shared interest. we see civic participation as a social process in search of win-win outcomes.

early childhood

cognitive and emotional stimulation through parent involvement and appropriate nutrition in the first years of life may determine the future trajectory of a child. for a variety of reasons, young children are often not stimulated when they are small, sometimes because the parents do not wish to bond with the child too early and sometimes because the parents are not aware of the positive benefit of physical touch or interacting with the child. until a certain age, children are often seen more as passive objects than as family members. h2n helps parents adopt behaviors that contribute to the healthy development of their children, which includes providing adequate nutrition, micro-nutrients and proteins that support brain development. whenever possible, h2n works to integrate an early childhood component in all its programs and projects.

gender equality

women and men need to work together to change social norms and individual behaviors that negatively impact gender equality, but women often do not have the opportunity, training or self-confidence to express themselves fully. due to cultural expectations and traditions, women are often discriminated or disadvantaged in the economic, political and social spheres and often are not empowered to make decisions that impact them. promoting gender equality naturally involves both genders, but h2n focuses on training the women that will lead the change process and establish an improved gender balance, while simultaneously educating men. h2n works through gender programming in mass media, gender communication networks, community radios and community video groups that address women’s issues in daily life and in the places they live.

health and nutrition

the adoption of healthy behaviors or the uptake of existing health and nutrition products and services often suffer from the lack of demand, which in turn may result from lack of opportunity, ability or motivation. at the same time, health outcomes may be affected by cultural factors, social norms and negative behaviors, many of which are influenced by common myths, misconceptions and other barriers to change. h2n seeks to identify the main drivers behind a behavior and implements integrated advocacy, communication and social mobilization strategies that lead to positive health outcomes by pursuing interventions that are most likely to bring results. this includes generating a deeper understanding of the health issue at hand, contextualizing the discussion around it and addressing it through participative and interactive communication activities.

youth engagement

the growing gap between the number of young people entering the labor market each year and the employment opportunities available to them threatens to fuel civic unrest, create social instability and perpetuate poverty and economic stagnation. at the same time, young people represent the greatest hope for social change as they gradually replace an older generation that has largely failed in creating economic opportunity and social justice. young minds are open to fresh influences and new ways of thinking, but social norms make it difficult for them to ask questions or challenge the status quo. h2n works within a positive youth development framework and pursues opportunities for positive engagement by building on young people’s strengths, providing opportunities and supporting personal growth. we help develop life skills, entrepreneurship and an aspirational mindset.