Health Education and Promotion International Inc. (HEPI) is a non-profit, non-governmental association established in 1985. We are a team of highly qualified professionals dedicated to the promotion of the health of children worldwide.


On a world-wide basis there is a deep concern about the health of children. HEPI has been founded to combat this need.
The horrendous erosion of the well-being of young people through ignorance, substance abuse, by starvation, disease, HIV/AIDs and in abuse and maltreatment is causing anguish and prompting action.

HEPI has the clear philosophy of working in a practical manner, with a spirit of love and care, to empower children regarding their health and life skills. We are commited to assisting educators worldwide to initiate, establish and implement social development programs that improve the health of both children/youth and the wider community (see staff profiles).

Our aim is to establish a series of nodal centres in each continent with locally trained eductors who will develop and facilitate regionally appropriate curricula based on the Schools Total Health Program model. This work is perceived as a movement in social development rather than another "project". It involves cooperation with local people to empower children so that they become teachers in their own communities working towards better health, lifestyle and environment for all.

Closely related to this concern, are two other initiatives; Health Education for Street Children specifically aimed for children in shelters and on the streets. and a Peer Leaders Program in which youth are trained and implicated in teaching their peers and community towards better health outcomes.

Aims and Outcomes

HEPI assists local educators and social workers to develop and implement health and living skills programs that aim to:

  • change and improve the teaching/learning dialogue so that it becomes interesting to both the teacher and learner and is child-centred, action oriented;
  • improve the status and self-esteem of teachers so that they become managers, organisers, supervisors of the learning process;
  • obtain widespread involvement, commitment and local ownership of the whole process;
  • stree the need for education of the girl child; and
  • outreach to the poorest sections of the community, especially the children 'of the streets' and 'on the streets' in towns and cities.

The outcomes sought from persuing this endeavour are benefits to children such that they have the skills and inclination to:

  • voluntarily improve their health and welfare;
  • develop their life skills and thus achieve their full potential in life;
  • become teachers in their homes and influences in their communities; and
  • act with a spirit of love, care and respect for all beings.

The guidelines under which HEPI works in order to ensure that the programs devised are both relevant and sustainable are:

  • the work must be done "on the ground" so that the teaching material is developed by a strong indigenous group of committed professionals;
  • those involved in program development should comprise the people who will use it and facilitate it's implemention;
  • the program should be usable and realistic with a sound educational basis;
  • the program should work within the pre-existing educational or social service infrastructure
  • a respect for local culture is imperative;
  • it must be developed and taught as a separate subject which is the province of educators, as neither integration of health education with other subjects nor crisis issue approaches are successful in the long term;
  • health education is not a new subject in schools for it is emphasised in most aims of education and as additional time is not required
  • health education should be taught for at least 2 hours per week in a spiral curriculum throughout the school life;
  • strong efforts should be expended in raising teacher self-esteem and status in order to obtain better application and results;
  • the teaching approach should be child centred and action oriented; and
  • a close working relationship with government officials and the entire administration of education systems should be established and maintained.
the need for change is evident...


Staff Profiles (back to top).


Dr Colin L. Yarham (T.C., B.Sc., M.Ed., M.Sc., PhD, MACE)

Motivated by the enormous need to promote the health of children throughout the world, Dr Yarham founded the non-profit, non-governmental association HEPI. He is now the current director of our organisation.

Throughout his life, Dr Yarham has been strongly committed to the welfare of children. He has worked with numerous Health and Education Department committees, Higher Education boards and the World Health Organisation. He was Head of Department of Health Studies at University of Technology, Sydney for 25 years. A long-serving member of the Board of Trustees of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education, he represented this union in different places around the world. In serving as international consultant, he has worked with WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF and National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT, Delhi) in the field of school aged child and youth in education, health promotion and life skills.


Ms Anuja Kak (B.Sc., M.Sc. (Extension education))

Ms Kak has training in both nutrition and community development. With broad experience in community health and social issues throughout India, she brings a particular emphasis to issues particular to women's health. After seven years closely involved with HEPI and all it's activities, Ms Kak is now taking on a leadership role in many facets of the work.

Dr Juliet Willetts (B.Sc., B.E. (Hons), PhD (Environmental Engineering))

With a strong background in environmental issues, Dr Juliet Willetts gives expertise in this important area and it's direct relation to health issues. Over the last six years she has been a member of our team. In charge of evaluating and assessing the relevance and effectiveness of HEPI's efforts within communities and schools, HEPI is provided with vital feedback and monitoring information enabling us to continually reflect, evolve and improve. In addition her artistic and computer design skills have have been well utilised in many areas of our work.

Shri Gurunathan (B. Litt., B.Ed.)

A well recognised Tamil scholar and poet, Gurunathan is able to reach out to the children of his state in a way which few people are able. His many compositions of songs and poems are a wonderful asset to HEPI's contribution regarding the teaching of health and life skills. He has been a part of the organisation for six years, acting as editor, translator, poet and writer. Prior to this, as an outstanding headmaster, his effort were recognised on a State and National level with Presidential awards.

Dr D. Kanakaraj (B.Sc., M.Sc. (Extension education), PhD)

A recentand valued addition to our team, for two years Dr kanakaraj has been devoted to the pursuits of HEPI in Tamilnadu,India. Since gaining extensive education in India and USA, he has devoted his whole life in service to the poor. Born into difficult conditions, his commitment to help those in need is unfaltering. He has perviously worked under different capacities: as an agricultural farm manager, the director of several hostels, creches (child-care centres), farming and youth clubs. He is absolutely dedicated to the upliftment of those in need

Dr Indu Balagopal (M.D.)

Dr Indu Balagopal has received world-wide recognition for her international work in the Child-to-child program and in the Mobile creches program of integrated child-care for construction workers in large cities throughout India. Her input as a qualified health professional is critical to all areas of HEPI's work.

Health Education & Promotion International Inc.

In Australia: P.O. Box 78, Roseville 2069 NSW, Australia (Ph/Fax: +61 2 9416 2771)

In India: 3B, 10 Bishop Waller Avenue East, Mylapore, Chennai 600004,Tamilnadu, India (Ph: +91 44 498 3684)

Gratefully funded by ABWA (Australian Baptist World Aid), AusAID, Tirian and others