FAQs2020-08-15T19:39:45+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know who the trip administrator is? 2019-08-16T20:33:48+00:00
I don’t get it – what is IKONDO? (Ee-KON-Doh)2019-08-16T20:34:01+00:00

IKONDO is a private hosting facility owned and operated by the Hands and Feet Project. Designed to accommodate visitors on missional experiences, IKONDO strives to create dignified hospitality-based jobs that push against Haiti’s growing orphan and child abandonment crisis. While providing life-changing experiences and adventures for its guests and life-giving jobs for its employees, IKONDO exhibits the broader goal of rekindling Haiti’s stunted tourism industry. ​ The heart behind the facility is to exhibit the beauty of Haiti & the vibrant culture of the people. 

What’s the difference between this and a regular mission trip?2019-08-16T20:34:39+00:00

Intentionality. Historically, mission trips provide a “savior” experience for the trip-goer rather than a sustainable solution for the families in our communities. In many ways, our “regular” mission trips have created more dependency by taking away jobs and stripping Haiti of its pride and dignity. Our trips are dedicated to create a more equitable exchange between our guests and our hosts. Although you will have opportunities to serve, you must be willing to be served as well. Our Haitian hosts want to show you their country’s hospitality, its potential, and its beauty.

How do I raise money for that kind of trip?2019-08-16T20:34:59+00:00

Our trips can be paid for “in full” by the guests or in conjunction with crowdfunding. Trip fees are considered donations, as every trip contributes to our Christ-centered mission of caring for children in need and helping families thrive.

What will we do?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

Every trip is different, but the normal day at IKONDO begins with Bible study and prayer, followed by breakfast. Following the morning meal, guests will have an opportunity to serve in the local community with our seasoned US and Haitian team, visit our Children’s Village, or experience the different regions of Haiti. The afternoons are usually dedicated to experiencing Haiti’s beauty, whether it is snorkeling a colorful reef system, visiting a historic site, or getting to know Haiti’s beautiful people in and around IKONDO. Evenings are focused on worship, fellowship, and conversations on how Jesus calls us to love and serve our neighbors around the world.

Who can go?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

We invite individuals of ages 5 and up to join us on our mission experiences, providing they are of adequate health to handle the environment. If there are health concerns we may ask for a medical release of travel from your doctor. Minors between 5-14 years of age can travel with a team as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Minors between 15-17 years of age can travel to one of our Villages with an accompanying adult 25 or older in addition to a signed notarized release of travel from their parent/guardian. A copy of this document will be submitted to the Hands and Feet Project US Office and the guardian must carry the original copy with them.

How much does it cost to stay at IKONDO?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

Costs will vary dependent upon the type of trip you attend. For most trips this cost (Project Fee) only covers your stay; it does NOT include airfare, baggage fees or any additional expenses. Please refer to our Financial Policies for additional information.

How many guests can I bring?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

Please contact our Trip Administrator for the most up to date housing availability. Please note that your week at IKONDO will be spent with other small groups, families, and individuals. We do our best to host everyone who is interested in visiting our Mission Guest Village.

When can I visit?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

HAFP hosts guests year-round. Availability during March and October runs from Saturday to Saturday. Trips during the regular season (all other months) run from Tuesday to Tuesday. You will work with our Trip Administrator to book an available week.

Do I need a passport or travel visa?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

Yes, everyone must have a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return date from Haiti or you will NOT be allowed to travel. Passports can take a few months to process, so ensure that you have applied for yours in plenty of time. You can obtain the most current processing times from your local post office. Please visit the US Department of State website for more information on applying for a passport. You will be given a travel visa for Haiti on your flight to Port-au-Prince. This will be a green form that you will complete; customs officials will return the bottom portion to you once you arrive in customs. Ensure that each member on your team keeps this green card in his or her passport; you will need it for departure.

Is it safe?2020-07-08T19:23:16+00:00

Haiti is an unstable country politically. The majority of the unrest is in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. All air travel into Haiti goes through the Port-au-Prince airport. The Villages are located two to four hours from Port-au-Prince. The Hands and Feet Project makes the safety of our children, staff and guests a high priority. We continually monitor the environment and adapt where we see appropriate. All HAFP Villages are staffed with security 24/7. The people of Haiti are friendly and it is safe to walk around town in groups with a member of HAFP staff. However, being foreigners in Haiti, you will stand out, therefore we ask you to use caution when traveling off-site. Under NO circumstances may you travel off-site without prior approval from our on the field Trip Host. For up to date information from the US Department of State please visit: https://ht.usembassy.gov.

Will we need immunizations?2020-07-08T19:23:15+00:00

The Center for Disease Control makes recommendations for immunizations, vaccinations, and other health precautions for every country. However, it is ultimately up to you and your doctor to determine which vaccinations or immunizations you will need. These expenses are NOT covered in your Project Fee. A tetanus booster and Malaria pills are strongly recommended by HAFP.

Where do we stay?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

All guests will stay on campus at our Mission Guest Village in IKONDO, Grand Goave unless otherwise approved. Our Mission Guest Village is currently undergoing additional construction, please contact our Trip Administrator for the most up-to-date housing arrangements. Our Mission Guest Village has electricity (most of the time). Bedding and bath towels are provided, please bring your own beach towel.

What do we eat?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

Teams will eat Creole food provided by our Haitian cooks onsite.

  • You may bring in dessert mixes and snacks. There will not be an abundance of snacks as you may be accustomed to in the United States.
  • If you have any food allergies, please bring additional food to accommodate your dietary needs.
  • Safe drinking water is provided. Please bring a refillable water bottle.
How do we travel once in country?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

A Hands and Feet Project staff member, or a trusted driver will pick you up from the Port-au-Prince airport. Our on-site trip host will communicate these arrangements to you closer to your travel date.

What will we do during the week?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

We desire to empower our Haitian employees by encouraging them to be the workforce in Haiti. HAFP hires local workers to accomplish the majority of our organizational needs so Haitian men and women can provide for their families. However, there are service projects that can often times be supplemented by guests. After determining the skills, talents, and preferences of our guests, our staff will provide projects and activities accordingly, to best fit the present needs. Projects may consist of new construction, repairs, painting, laying block, organizing, cleaning, etc. Excursions could include, but are not limited to, visiting the local beach, hikes, the local market, etc. These off-site excursions will help to give you a better understanding of day-to-day life in Haiti. Projects and activities change on a day-to-day basis, the key is to remain flexible. We also encourage you to take some down time to simply enjoy the beauty of Haiti and further your relationships with fellow teammates.

Is there a dress code?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

For females, modest shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, dresses and skirts may be worn the majority of the week. You will need a skirt with a short-sleeved (no tank tops) top or dress for church and a modest bathing suit for the beach (no bikinis). Old clothes and tennis shoes will be needed for working. Sandals are great for walking around the community and non-project related activities. For males, shorts, t-shirts and tank tops may be worn the majority of the week. You will need a nice pair of pants and a shirt with a collar for church services. Old clothes and tennis shoes will be needed for working. Sandals are great for walking around the community and non-project related activities.

Do we need to bring supplies?2020-07-08T19:23:14+00:00

We are frequently asked if there are additional supply needs. Please note that this is optional! Often times there are supplies needed that are unavailable, scarce, or overpriced in Haiti. As this is optional, if you are interested in contributing to our supply needs please email our Trip Administrator and you will be provided a supply list. With the high volume of guests HAFP is unable to send you a supply list any sooner than 4-6 weeks before your arrival to Haiti. This will help us keep our supplies at a maintainable level.

What personal items should we bring?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

The following items are recommended: Bible, journal, appropriate clothing, flashlight, small hand sanitizer, insect repellent, sunscreen, personal medications, water bottle, flavored water packets, snacks for travel days, beach towel, and toiletries.

Can we bring gifts for our sponsored children or others?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

We understand the desire to give gifts to our kids, staff and neighbors. However, we do ask that you refrain from giving or promising ANY gifts (including monetary gifts) directly to any individual. Many times when gifts are given, even with the best intentions, problems may arise after you have left. This can create issues for our staff and future guests. If you would like to bring a gift to your sponsored child, we ask that you bring sentimental gifts, i.e. photo books, letters, pictures of your family, etc. Our children cherish items that are specific to them. If you do wish to bring toys or games we cannot guarantee that it will go to your specific sponsored child, it will be placed in our depot to be used for birthday gifts or rewards for exceptional behavior, grades, etc.

How do airline tickets work?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

We will reserve airfare for groups of 15 or more, all other travelers will be responsible for booking their own airfare BASED ON THE FLIGHTS TIMES DESIGNATED BY HAFP. Flights for groups of 15 or more will not be booked until all funds have been submitted to the HAFP office. We ask that you purchase flights that arrive/depart PAP after 9 AM and before 4:00 PM. If you are unable to find a flight that meets our request, contact the Trip Administrator before booking for approval. There will be a fee associated with any off-travel pickup. The safety of our guests is a high priority and traveling during daylight hours is an added measure of safety. If your group decides to purchase a flight with an arrival outside of that time frame, please note that if our Haitian team determines the roads are not safe to travel at night when you arrive, your team will need to stay at a nearby hotel (HAFP will arrange if deemed necessary) and your team will be responsible for all costs incurred. If there are any changes in your flight times it is your responsibility to notify our Trip Administrator of updated flight times.

Will we be able to use the Internet or Mobile Phones?2020-07-08T19:25:18+00:00

While wi-fi is available at IKONDO, please note there is limited bandwidth and it may be inconsistent. While typically great for sending an email or two, or a quick social media post you should not depend on it for large file downloads or streaming. Please leave your personal computers at home. You may bring your mobile phone if you so choose, however, please keep in mind that international rates are very expensive and HAFP is not responsible for loss or damage to your phone during your time in Haiti. We recommend that teams use this time to ‘disconnect’ from the fast pace of everyday life and immerse themselves in the culture of Haiti.

Do we need to be able to speak the local language?2020-07-08T19:25:17+00:00

Kreyol is the native language in Haiti. It is not necessary to be able to speak the language but it is respected by locals and staff, learning key phrases can prove helpful. The following link is a great tool: http://www.kreyol.com/dictionary.html You can also find Kreyol dictionaries on Amazon.

How can I prepare for my visit?2020-07-08T19:25:17+00:00

Upon your arrival at the Mission Guest Village, our on-site staff will give a brief orientation and will be able to answer any specific questions you may have. There are many great books that discuss serving cross-culturally and in impoverished nations, in addition to books that talk about orphan care and how to best approach this sensitive topic. These books can give you some helpful tools as you prepare for your cross-cultural experience. We have a few recommendations, but please feel free to research further. We recommend:

Hands and Feet: Inspiring Stories and Firsthand Accounts of God Changing Lives – Audio Adrenaline Haiti: The God of Tough Places, the Lord of Burnt Men – Richard Frechette
When Helping Hurts – Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
Cross-Cultural Servanthood – Duane Elmer

Please keep in mind that these are simply recommendations by HAFP, based on the notion that they contain educational content. Please read all texts with your discretion.

What exactly is the Circle of Care?2020-07-08T19:28:43+00:00

Our Christ-centered purpose is to provide family-style, residential care and sustainable solutions that fight against Haiti’s orphan crisis. The Hands and Feet Project Circle of Care is a comprehensive model that meets the physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs of every boy and girl under our care. This model has set a standard of excellence for our teams as we approach all aspects of our work and strive to live out our mission.

  • Physical needs are met through: regular medical visits, proper nutrition, and basic needs (clothing, safe housing)
  • Emotional needs are met through: mental health specialists who equip children with helpful tools for well-being and are available 24/7 for children under our care. Additionally, Hands and Feet Project partners with a team of highly skilled individuals who have helped create a training curriculum for our staff.
  • Spiritual needs are met through: attending church, worship, and bible studies with caregivers and housemates every week.
  • Educational needs are met through: individualized education plans  created based on each child’s needs and talents; mandatory tutoring during the school year and summer to upkeep educational excellence.
Where can I log into my account? 2020-07-08T19:32:06+00:00

You can log into your Reach account by clicking here.

What is a Children’s village?2020-07-24T23:26:26+00:00

We refrain from using the word orphanage due to the stigmas associated with this word. We want to see our children thrive in a community, which is where the word “village” comes from. We believe by cutting out the word orphanage, we believe we can start to rephrame stigmas and instead write a narrative that empowers individuals to live up to their God-given abilities.  Through residential-style care, children are able to experience life in Christ-centered communities.

What is residential-style care and why is it important?2020-07-24T23:26:53+00:00

Traditional orphan care, while a cost-effective approach, often sees an individual as a mouth to feed. Residential-style care is a different approach to orphan care, and we believe it ensures the best care for individuals. Our holistic approach brings children into houses of smaller groups so that more individualized care can be given. Children under our care are encouraged to ask for their needs to be met through their individual caregivers in order to strengthen their relationship within their homes.

Where are the Children’s Villages located?2020-07-24T23:27:32+00:00

We operate in two locations, Jacmel and Grand Goave. They are about an hour and a half drive from each other, up and over a mountain.

How are children placed into the care of Hands and Feet Project?2020-07-24T23:28:07+00:00

Hands and Feet Project operates under the jurisdiction of Haiti’s Child Protective Services (called IBESR). Whenever HAFP is approached by IBESR about placing a child in our care, we collaborate with their representatives to determine the best course of action for each child.

If all family and community care options are not viable, IBESR will place the child(ren) in our Residential Care program. Here, in our Children’s Villages, we create family, where children will live, sleep, eat, and play in family homes. We only utilize our Residential Care program as the best, last resort.

What are Hands and Feet Project’s policies for financial reporting and transparency?2020-07-24T23:29:44+00:00

At Hands and Feet Project, we strive for the highest level of financial integrity. We understand that the main priority of our donors is to transform the lives of the children we have been given the privilege to serve. To maximize our impact, we continually strive to keep our overhead rate low to use funding for programs that directly benefit our children, local families, and communities in need. Read more about our financial practices and policies here.

What makes Hands and Feet Project different from other sponsorship programs?2020-07-24T23:30:24+00:00

The Hands and Feet Project Sponsorship program is different from many child sponsorship programs because of our Circle of Care model. This holistic and comprehensive model of care strives to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs of every boy and girl across every program within the Hands and Feet Project organization. These programs include Community Care, Family Preservation, Residential Care, Reunification Care, Transition Care, and Education Only Support. Unlike many sponsorship programs who provide nutritional or education only assistance, our program seeks to provide comprehensive care.

Why are there multiple sponsorship spots per child?2020-07-24T23:30:47+00:00

The simplest answer is that excellent care just costs more! Your sponsorship with Hands and Feet Project also goes beyond feeding and clothing your sponsored child. With multiple sponsorship spots available for each child, we have a greater capacity to meet their individualized needs, as outlined by our Circle of Care.

Can I visit my sponsored child?2020-07-24T23:31:07+00:00

Yes! We have multiple trips running throughout the year.

Can I send gifts?2020-07-24T23:31:56+00:00

While we do not allow sponsors to send direct gifts, we encourage you to write to your sponsored child.

What do I need to know about letter writing? How can I write a letter to my sponsor child? Will they write back? 2020-07-24T23:32:56+00:00

Letter writing is an interactive way that allows you to get to know your sponsored child on a more personal level.While we encourage your sponsored child to write you back, they don’t always feel like it, and that’s okay! We never want a child to feel like they are being forced to do something that they do not want to do. However, know that letter day is a big deal, normally a few “happy dances” are involved upon receiving a letter. Your letters are cherished by your sponsor child!

Hands and Feet Project, Inc.

Attn: Child Name

PO Box 682105

Franklin, TN 37068

The Do’s & Don’ts of Letter Writing:

 

  • DO include who the letter is intended for on the outside of the letter.

 

  • DON’T write to a child you do not sponsor.
  • DO include printed photos. While this is not a requirement, the kids adore printed photos of their sponsors.
  • DON’T include promises of coming to see your sponsored child or sending gifts.
  • DO understand that all letters are sent down regularly with our incoming teams, so your letter may take a little longer to reach its destination.
  • DON’T worry about translating the letter. We have an incredible team in Haiti who can translate better than any online translator! Also, many of our kids speak and understand English!

 

 

At what age does a child age out of the program and what happens if my sponsor child ages out of the Hands and Feet Project program?2020-07-24T23:33:33+00:00

When our residential children turn 18, per Haiti’s Child Protective Services (IBESR), they are required to move off campus. In an effort to continue to support  them/stay connected with them, we offer them the option to be a part of our transition care and support program until they turn 20. With this, they commit to staying in school (typically Haitians have at least a couple more years of schooling after they turn 18), living with a Resident Assistant (hired by HAFP) in the community, and continuing to abide by HAFP standards. In response, HAFP continues to pay for their schooling and any additional technical classes they’re interested in. HAFP additionally assists the young man or women in finding a job. Historically, many have come back to HAFP to work on our campuses in a variety of roles! This is an incredible opportunity to not only continue to be a support to them, but to also stay connected and in relationship.

If your sponsored child turns 18 and ages out of the residential program, you still have the opportunity to support them in the transition care and support program. You’ll still receive monthly updates, just like you did when they lived on the HAFP campus. If your sponsored child ages out of the transition care and support program at the age of 21, but you still want to stay connected to HAFP, you will have the opportunity to choose another HAFP child to sponsor moving forward.

I am having trouble navigating my account. Where can I get help?2020-07-24T23:35:38+00:00

Check out this video or contact Reach directly at support@reachapp.co.

Will my sponsored child see my messages on Reach?2020-07-24T23:36:00+00:00

Your sponsored child does not directly see your messages in Reach. If you have a message to send them please consider writing your sponsored child a letter.

What is Reach? How do I get email updates from it?2020-07-24T23:36:46+00:00

Reach is our donor management system , as well as the platform that processes all donations. As long as you provide your email address when you sign up for a sponsorship, you’ll receive two emailed updates a month, one child-specific update and one sponsor-exclusive update.

Can I pay for my sponsorship a year in advance?2020-07-24T23:37:43+00:00

You may! Just select “yearly” instead of “monthly” when you’re signing up for your sponsorship.

Can I send in a check to pay for my sponsorship?2020-07-24T23:38:21+00:00

Yes, you can send a check to the address below, with your sponsored child’s name in the memo line.

The Hands and Feet Project 

PO Box 682105

Franklin, TN 37068

Is my sponsorship tax-deductible?2020-07-24T23:38:47+00:00

Yes, your sponsorship is tax-deductible. At the end of every year, our team will email you a Contribution Statement with all donations made to HAFP. You can also download a Contribution Statement directly from your Reach account. If you would like us to mail you a Contribution Statement, just let us know by calling us or emailing donations@handsandfeetproject.org.

How do I update my contact or financial information? 2020-07-24T23:39:40+00:00

Once you’re logged into your Reach account, to update your contact information look at the left-hand side of your screen and select “Update Profile.” To update your financial information, you’ll see a section that says “Payment Details (Change),” also on the left-hand side of the screen. Just select “Change” and you’ll be set!

If I have questions about my credit card, who do I need to contact?2020-07-24T23:40:17+00:00
Can I donate to other parts of the organization other than child sponsorship?2020-07-24T23:41:03+00:00

Yes! You can either make a donation to our General Fund, our Childcare Fund, or our Staff Support Fund (this is a general fund for our missionaries). You can also choose to make a donation to/sponsor specific missionaries. You can find all of these options by navigating to the top right corner of your screen and hovering over “Give.”

Additionally, we have a program called “The Bridge,” where the charitable gifts help us meet the needs of unsponsored or undersponsored children in our HAFP community. Reserved for businesses, foundations, churches and other passionate groups, BRIDGE sponsors aren’t connected to an individual child, but to our entire Childcare Program, with donations going to our most urgent needs.

How do I pay for past/ missed months of sponsorship?2020-07-24T23:41:26+00:00
What is IKONDO (and how do I pronounce it)?2020-08-15T19:37:51+00:00

IKONDO (Ee-KON-Doh) is a private hosting facility owned and operated by the Hands and Feet Project. Designed to accommodate visitors on missional experiences, IKONDO strives to create dignified hospitality-based jobs that push against Haiti’s growing orphan and child abandonment crisis. While providing life-changing experiences and adventures for its guests and life-giving jobs for its employees, IKONDO exhibits the broader goal of rekindling Haiti’s stunted tourism industry. ​ The heart behind the facility is to exhibit the beauty of Haiti & the vibrant culture of the people.

What’s the difference between a trip to IKONDO and a regular mission trip?2020-08-15T19:37:48+00:00

Intentionality. Historically, mission trips provide a “savior” experience for the trip-goer rather than a sustainable solution for the families in our communities. In many ways, our “regular” mission trips have created more dependency by taking away jobs and stripping Haiti of its pride and dignity. Our trips are dedicated to create a more equitable exchange between our guests and our hosts. Although you will have opportunities to serve, you must be willing to be served as well. Our Haitian hosts want to show you their country’s hospitality, its potential, and its beauty.

What happens if my trip has to be canceled?2020-08-15T19:37:43+00:00

If your trip is canceled, you have the option to either hold the funds that you have raised through Managed Missions (our trip goer registration and fundraising platform) for one year to use toward another trip, or you can donate the money that you have raised to HAFP’s area of greatest need.

What are your trip financial policies?2020-07-24T23:51:17+00:00
Are there internship opportunities? How do I apply? Are there year round opportunities?2020-07-24T23:52:04+00:00

While the summer is the time of year that we are most in need of interns, there are some year round opportunities available. You can find all information about our internships at this link, including qualifications, cost, and the application. If you have any questions, email info@handsandfeetproject.org.

Can I donate my talents to Hands and Feet Project?2020-07-24T23:52:38+00:00

Absolutely! If you have a skill that you think our team could use, send an email to info@handsandfeetproject.org.

Are there any job opportunities for me?2020-07-24T23:53:03+00:00

We intentionally keep a relatively small US team to sustainably expand operations in Haiti while keeping a low overhead cost. However, if you feel that you have something valuable to bring to our team, send a cover letter and resume to info@handsandfeetproject.org. We occasionally have openings in Haiti. If you are interested in serving in a long-term position in Haiti, all job openings are posted here.

Are there any fundraising events I can attend throughout the year?2020-07-24T23:53:24+00:00

Bring a fundraising event to your hometown! Click here to see a list of opportunities to get involved or contact us and let us know how we can help you with your idea!

Is Hands and Feet Project a religious organization?2020-07-24T23:53:44+00:00

From our Children’s Villages in Haiti to our offices in the United States, we hold fast to Christ’s teachings and commandments. We strive to teach and exemplify Love, Honesty, Obedience, and Responsibility in the name of Christ. Read our Statement of Faith here.

Where is the US team based out of?2020-07-24T23:54:37+00:00

Our US team is small, yet mighty. Many of us work remotely, so many days are filled with conference calls, emails, and plenty of text messages. On the rare occasion you are able to get our US team into one room, there is usually a plate of cookies passed around as we share funny stories. Every Wednesday, we have a mandatory conference call and spend an hour praying and planning. Our call is always opened in prayer. We usually spend a few minutes catching up on each other’s lives and then “get down to business.”

My question wasn’t answered in the FAQ’s, who can I contact to help me?2020-07-24T23:54:57+00:00

You can contact info@handsandfeetproject.org with any question you have!

What is schooling like in Haiti?2020-07-24T23:55:20+00:00

In Haiti, the school year starts in September and ends in June. At our Jacmel campus, our kids attend 8 different schools! Our younger children leave for school around 6:00 AM, with everyone off of campus by 9:00 AM, except a handful of children who are homeschooled by HAFP staff and tutors. The majority of schools in Haiti are private, with most charging a tuition fee; a barrier to schooling for many. Children start going to school at 3 years old for pre-K, and complete their education after they finish philo, what would be the equivalent of “13th grade” in the US. The first HAFP child (now, adult) to complete philo was Marvensky in 2019!

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