What is HRF?

We would like to start by telling you what HRF is from scratch. This does not mean that all we have said to date is invalid, we simply want to restate. For 12 years, we have generated a lot of information resulting from our research, and we now want to make it available more widely. We also want to take advantage of our new, improved website and we are bringing it to your attention so that you can use it when necessary. Let’s begin!

1. What is HRF? An International Think Tank based in London. Sometimes, another immediate question follows: What is a think tank? A laboratory of ideas that launches lines of thought into society.

2. What is HRF’s aim? We seek a ‘social revolution’ in the home environment or as our slogan says: we want to renew the culture of the home.

3. What does that mean? Well, homes are very important for society and many people have neglected them for some time, so we want to encourage people to return to giving homes all the attention and care they deserve.

4. How are you going to achieve this ‘social revolution’? We have two clear lines of action: theory and practice.
The theory is simply to demonstrate through research with academic institutions and prestigious disciplines, the importance for society of the work involved in running a home, for example, for the health of its members or the global economy. For this reason, we do research and organize Experts Meetings, Symposiums, Academic Conferences or Policy Events. We think it is the most appropriate way to put the issue on the public agenda and open the dialogue with policymakers.
The practical part is what allows us to influence the reality. Based on the information obtained in the research we have conducted and knowing people with expertise in the ‘day to day’ of the home, we train all those who want to learn about or want to improve, the management of their home to build a happy home little by little.

5. And why do you think a think tank like yours is necessary? Simply because the figures show the following:

– Increase in mental disorders in children
– Increase in malnutrition
– Increase in the number of grandparents living in care homes
– Reduction in families who eat home-cooked food
– Increase in the number of hours children spend alone in front of the television or other screens
– Fall in reading among the younger population
– Reduction in the time that parents spend with their children
– The difficulty of work/life balance.

This scenario could make us feel very guilty or push us to blame society in general, but it would be useless. The good thing about stopping to analyse and observe the problem is that we can diagnose it and try to solve it.

Neither the migration of women into work, nor the appearance of new technologies, nor other external factors are the problem, they are simply new actors with whom we will be living for the foreseeable future. And we should simply adapt to the circumstances, and train as well as possible, to use all those new resources in the most efficient way in the management of our homes.

And that’s why HRF is working every day. To detect problems and try to offer solutions through dissemination, training and dialogue.

Now, we hope you understand what HRF is doing. Then, if it seems appropriate, let people know, tell all those who think they may need a little help in the management of their home. And tell us what aspect or area of the home you are worried about, and we will try to investigate it, to demonstrate to the world the importance of the work involved in building a home.


The Role of the Home in Building Society: Home Renaissance at the Mothers at Home Matter 2013 AGM

Last Thursday the Home Renaissance Foundation team was invited to attend the Mothers at Home Matter 2013 Annual General Meeting, as a key partner organization. In a full meeting room, MAHM director recognized Mercedes Jaureguibeitia, HRF’s director, and the entire HRF team, for their crucial contribution for the understanding of the professional dimension of the work of the home for a well-balanced society, as well as highlighting the value of homemaking to society. The opening also pointed out the fact that the work of the home is strongly undervalued, and that society needs to reclaim more space for love, and care of the home and the family.

Mothers at Home Matter is an organization that represents the interests of parents who look after their children at home. Their aim is to call for a commitment by all political parties to actively seek and hear the voice of mothers –as well as fathers in many cases- with caring responsibilities, who are very rarely acknowledged, despite the important role they play.

Among other organizations represented was the Mouvement Mondial des Meres-Europe (MMM Europe), lead by Anne-Claire de Liedekerke, President of the European Delegation of this international organization that promotes awareness of policy makers and public opinion of the vital role of mothers for promoting peace and of their contribution to social, cultural and economic development.

At the meeting De Liedekerke provided us with the results of the Survey of Mothers in Europe in 2011, carried out by MMM Europe, demonstrating that 63% of the mothers surveyed (of a total of over 11,000) prefer a combination of work and family care roles, 26% prefer to be at home full time and 11% prefer full time employment.

In fact, this coincides with the findings of Dr. Aric Sigman, a biologist and psychologist who authored such publications as Delegated parenting: some neuroendocrine reservations, and Mother Superior? The biological effects of day care. Dr. Sigman explained how there appears to be little effort invested in understanding and taking into account the feelings of stay-at-home mothers in theory and policy.

The MAHM’s belief that parenting is better than other institutions when it comes to the education of children –parents being one of ‘the most influential builders of society’-, coincide with HRF’s vision and mission to enhance the home environment in order to support the best learning family experience.

But it is not only about full-time mothers: regardless of how many hours do you stay at home or work outside home, the heart of the matter is that society must keep in mind how much home environment matters to children and the whole family.

Sally Goddard Blythe, Director of the Institute for Neuro-physiological Psychology in Chester, shared her latest findings about the needs of children with the participants. The results are compiled in one of her recent publications, What Babies and Children Really Need. The book examines the crucial early years from a child’s perspective and concludes that changes in society over the past 50 years have unleashed a crisis in childhood.

It was also brought to the attention meeting participants that although employment patterns have changed in recent years, the needs of the children have not. HRF would like to congratulate Mothers at Home Matter on a very successful event. In this vein, we continue to contribute the unique consideration that good home environments, which meet the fundamental needs of individuals and families, have a crucial role in building a more humane society.