Upcoming Events

Rangoli Art

HUGGS students and families celebrate Ugadi.

Ugadi is the Telugu New Year.   A time for families to be together.  A time to draw intricate art, ‘rangolis’, at the entrance to each home. (L. Photo below).   A time to decorate doors and windows with mango leaves strung together 'thorana' (R. Photo below). A time to eat ‘Ugadi Pachadi’, a unique dish with a mixture of six tastes ranging from sweet to bitter…reflecting that life brings different experiences, which we need to take in stride and move ahead. A time to move from the old year and all it held to the New Year and all it promises. 

  Rangoli Art with Student     Thorana





HUGGS Current Student

HUGGS joins Canada to celebrate International Development Week (IDW) February 4-10, 2018.  This year’s theme, “Partners for a Better World,” resonates deeply with HUGGS, whose Coordinator in HUGGS’ India program is the recipient of the BCCIC Award for Leadership Excellence.  For fifteen years, HUGGS has worked tirelessly with its partners in India to support and encourage adolescent girls and boys in acquiring post-secondary education that equips them with job-oriented skills and instills them with motivation to help others.

HUGGS Current Student

HUGGS delivers successfully on two of the key elements of the UN’s...

Happy Students


Along with the whole country, HUGGS celebrates the 68th anniversary of India’s Republic Day on January 26. It is a national holiday that brings together all Indians with a feeling of pride and love for their nation.

Republic Day celebrates the founding of India’s Constitution.  With its own Constitution, India became truly independent.  The “Independence” granted by the British in 1947 had given the country ‘dominion’ status in the British Commonwealth.  India then worked on its own Constitution to become a Republic on January 26, 1950.

Republic Day is celebrated with...

Children's Day

In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14, the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was popularly known as “Chacha Nehru” (Uncle Nehru) to India’s children.  On this day, schools hold special programs, to commemorate Jawaharlal Nehru and to celebrate children.  HUGGS recognizes this special day to honour all children, students as well as students’ siblings and little neighbours.  Several of our students are under 18, especially those in Intermediate or Junior College which is equivalent to Grades 11 and 12.

Read more about Children’s Day in India:


April 23 - 29, 2017

HUGGS Canada owes its very being to the many people in greater Vancouver who have given countless hours of their volunteer time and skills to HUGGS since it was founded by volunteer Lisa Heel 14 years ago.   Thank you for the articles written, the pictures taken and shared, the events hosted, the website developed and maintained…….and much more!

This is also a time to say,  “Would you consider volunteering your time and expertise to help HUGGS Canada grow?    We would be delighted to hear from you!”

English Courses

HUGGS students are not on a level playing field when they enter High School and College with girls and boys from more privileged backgrounds.  

We realized from the beginning that fluency in the English language would be a significant asset to finding good work positions in Andhra.    Over the years we have been able to provide our students with a strong grounding in one of the many English Centres.  

After the students complete their first year with HUGGS (Grade 11) they attend summer school for intensive English conversation and grammar.    This year 10 students will benefit from a 4 week course at...

Students in Classroom

It is estimated that about 5% of the homes in Vizag have access to a computer.   Not one of our students would be included in that number.    Once the students enter Degree College computer skills become invaluable. Thus it was decided that our students, on completion of their second year with HUGGS (Grade 12) would be given the opportunity to learn foundational computer skills at a reputable Computer Centre.  This gives them a distinct advantages as they enter Degree College or Polytechnic College

HUGGS is grateful to be developing a quality Computer Lab as part of the Study Centre.  

HSC temporary premises

October 11 is International Day of the Girl 

The United Nations’ theme for 2017 is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement.”  The focus is on eradicating child marriage, where often the bride is a pre-teen girl being forced to marry an adult man.*  HUGGS works actively to encourage students’ parents to have their daughters complete a post-secondary degree/diploma before getting them married. 

Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child

*For more information on the 2017 UN theme and statistics on child marriage, go to: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child


India Independence Day

August 15, 1947 India Independence Day

India Celebrates 70 years of Independence!

Throughout India this is a day of Celebration!   There will be Flag Hosting Celebrations in Government and in schools! 

HUGGS Study Centre will be closed in honour of the day, but the day before, the students will honour the 70th anniversary with special readings and music and food!

Marilyn’s Memories of August 15, 1947:   

I was 10 years old, attending a very British boarding school in the southern Hill Station of Ootacamund.  (Often referred to as ‘Snooty Ooty’!)   There was much excitement as we students prepared for...

Girls dressed for Celebrations

HUGGS students dressed in their holiday best. 

HUGGS Students will be celebrating Telugu New Year, UGADI, on Wednesday, March 29.   

Ugadi heralds the arrival of spring and warmer weather. As such it is a joyous festival signifying growth and prosperity.   As with all New Year festivals it is a chance to put the errors of the past behind, and start new ventures.

For the Telugu speaking people, Ugadi day begins with an extensive oil bath. Rangolis are drawn in front of homes and doors and windows are decorated with a 'thorana' - mango leaves strung together. Then, it is time for the preparation of...


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The mission of HUGGS Canada is to provide underprivileged students in India with the opportunity to further their education, enabling them to contribute more effectively to their families and communities.


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