FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

All Sponsorships

The Hands & Feet Project Sponsorship Program is different from many 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 child and family across every program within the Hands & Feet Project organization. These include: Child Sponsorships, Daycare Sponsorships, and Stronger Together Families Sponsorships. Unlike many sponsorship programs who provide only nutritional or after school education assistance, our program seeks to address the deeper needs of each child, their family and their community.

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



 

We are not currently offering trips due to the political conditions in Haiti. We hope to host trips again one day soon!

 

While we do not allow sponsors to send direct gifts to those they sponsor, we encourage you to donate to our "Celebrations Fund." 

 

This Celebrations Fund goes towards Christmas gifts, back to school supplies, our annual Village Values event, graduation celebrations, Flag Day celebrations, Vacation Bible School supplies, church camp expenses, Easter celebrations, and outings for the children that include things like: going to the beach, going out to eat and tour the art district, going see waterfalls, etc.

 

By giving your gift donation to this fund your money goes to helping us celebrate each child well.



Child Sponsorship

The Hands & Feet Project Circle of Care (COC) is a comprehensive model that strives to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs of every child and family 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: clean water, nutritional meals, ongoing medical and dental care, dignified private spaces, safe homes, and health education and training.

Emotional needs are met through: family style care, safe and nurturing environments, promotions of healthy attachments, ongoing assessments of care, regular caregiver training, and counseling and clinical services

Spiritual needs are met through: local church family, village worship, Bible training, faith-based curriculum, Vacation Bible School, Christ-centered care, discipleship, bibles, age appropriate small groups, and church camp.

Educational needs are met through: private Christian schooling, English classes, year-round tutoring, vocational skills training, transitional living programs, daycare services, and individualized education plans. 



Hands & Feet Project operates under the jurisdiction of Haiti’s Child Protective Services (called IBESR). Whenever Hands & Feet Project 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 families, where children will live, sleep, eat, and play in family homes. We only utilize our Residential Care Program as the best, last resort.



 

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 why we've chosen the word “village." We believe by cutting out the word orphanage, we can start to reframe stigmas and instead write a narrative that empowers individuals to live up to their God-given abilities. Through family-style, residential care in our Children's Villages, children are able to experience life in Christ-centered communities.

 

Traditional orphan care, while a cost-effective approach, often sees a child as another mouth to feed in a group of many. Typically, orphan care is visualized as institutional style care which is characterized by dorm-style housing and cafeteria style meals, for example.  Our residential-style care provides a home for children on our Children's Village campus in a family unit. Community-style care provides a home for children with families in the community who have been approved by Hands & Feet Project; even though they are with families in the community, these children are still under the guardianship of Hands & Feet Project. 

 

Both of these types of care offer a more individualized approach to orphan care, and we believe it ensures the best care for each child. Our holistic approach brings children into houses of smaller groups so that more attention and care can be given. Children under our care are encouraged to ask for their needs to be met through their caregivers in order to strengthen their relationship within their homes.



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 and stay connected to them, we offer them the option to be a part of our Independent Living Program (ILP) until they turn 20 or finish school. With this, they commit to stay in school (typically Haitians have at least a couple more years of schooling after they turn 18), live with a Resident Assistant (hired by Hands & Feet Project) in an ILP house in the community, and continue to abide by Hands & Feet Project standards. 

In response, Hands & Feet Project continues to pay for their schooling and any additional technical classes they’re interested in. Hands & Feet Project additionally assists these young men or women in the skills to find a job. Historically, many have come back to Hands & Feet Project 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.

When your sponsored child turns 18 and ages out of the program, you will have the opportunity to either support them in Providing Families Project (though you will no longer receive monthly updates that are specific to them) or choose to sponsor another child in our Child Sponsorship Program.



Even if your sponsored child asks to keep in touch, Hands & Feet Project cannot facilitate continued contact with children after graduation. Once a child graduates and leaves the community for further education or work, there are additional complications and they would place too great a burden on our staff to continue to translate and hand-deliver letters. Also, for your safety, we never allow your sponsored child to have your address. You could be put at risk for fraud if someone obtained your personal information.

Sponsors are welcome to send letters of encouragement and inspiration to their sponsored child/ren, but instead of a reply, each sponsor will receive two letters in the mail throughout the year from the child they sponsor. These letters will include fun articles and information the child wishes to share. With this method of correspondence, children can now share their gratitude for your support without the vulnerability of a reply letter that often takes a very long time for you, the sponsor, to receive. This method of communication will help give you a more personal connection without our children forming unhealthy attachments.

 

Things you can include in your letter:

 

Paper dolls

Postcards

Pictures of you or your family

Sports cards, individual cards (baseball, soccer, football)

Stickers (flat, paper-based, only a few at a time)

Paper-based simple bookmarks, stationery, drawing, or writing paper (single sheets)

Coloring pages (single sheets, not books)

 

*You may send small, flat paper-based items that can fit into a standard #10 size envelope, have a value of less than $5 dollars and weigh less than 4 ounces. We ask that you send small, flat items of this size because shipping is expensive.

 

Advice on Letter Writing:

 

-Offer encouragement and scripture.

-Tell the child how you are praying for them.

-Remind the child that he/she is special, loved, smart and full of potential. 

-Tell about your family and the place you live. 

-Share some of the things you like to do.

-Share stories about having good character by serving others and being honest.

-Share the importance of Love, Honesty, Obedience, and Responsibility in the name of Christ. (These are core values we teach daily and celebrate at our Village Values event)

-Don't include promises of coming to see your sponsored child.

-Include who the letter is intended for on the outside of the letter.

 

Where to send your Letters:

 

Hands and Feet Project, Inc.

Attn: Child Na

me

PO Box 682105

Franklin, TN 37068



Families (Stronger Together) Sponsorship

The Hands & Feet Project Circle of Care (COC) is a comprehensive model that strives to address the physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs of every child and family 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.

 

We assess the needs of each family in our Stronger Together Program and create an individualized Circle of Care plan for each family.

 

Physical needs are addressed through: ongoing medical and dental care, emergency medical care as needed. 

 

Emotional needs are met through: the encouragement of safe and nurturing environments and ongoing assessments of care.

 

Spiritual needs are met through: local church family, village worship, Vacation Bible School, and church camp.

 

Educational needs are met through: private Christian schooling, English classes, year-round tutoring, vocational skills training, daycare services, and individualized education plans.



In Stronger Together, we come alongside families, provide resources and social services, and focus not on one individual child, but on the family unit. These children have not been orphaned or abandoned, but are being advocated for in their own home. Our heart is to visit, assess, assist, and love each family well at every visit. Documentation is a necessity of making sure progress is being made, resources are being stewarded well, and overall keeping high accountability, but this can also feel invasive to the family unit and we want to honor those moments and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. That makes the commitment to update monthly challenging as an organization.

 

In short: We want to step back and look at the bigger picture. Our focus on the individual, family, and community is not changing. However, the way we share stories and foster relationships with those we serve is going to change. We believe that by sharing a different family’s story each month, instead of a child specific update, allows the family to more effectively steward their family legacy and personal journey.





We believe the Bible and its truths. We know it is hard for someone to stand firm in their faith alone. That's why God calls us together as a body of believers, so that we can help one another grow stronger together. That is what we plan to do with this model of sponsorship. Together we can help defend families against spiritual warfare and societal challenges the families in Haiti face daily. Those challenges, more often than we like to see, separate children from their families. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.



  1. Once a month family update. 

Every month you will receive an update on one of the families in this program. We believe as a supporter this will be an impactful experience to be able to hear from all of our families throughout the year, not just one.

  1. Two written physical mail correspondence from one of our “Stronger Together” families throughout the year.

  1. One “Let’s Connect” every year.

This is where you can select a time to connect with our Sponsorship Program Manager to ask questions about Stronger Together and give feedback, inquire about speakers for upcoming events, or learn more about becoming an ambassador for Hands & Feet Project.





Sponsors are welcome to send letters of encouragement and inspiration to the families in this program and we will include them in the Easter and Christmas gifts the family receives.

 

Instead of a reply, each sponsor will receive two letters in the mail throughout the year from one of the families in this program. These letters will include fun articles and information the family wishes to share. With this method of correspondence, families can now share their gratitude for your support without the vulnerability of a reply letter that often takes a very long time for you, the sponsor, to receive.

 

Advise on Letter Writing:

 

-Offer encouragement and scripture.

-Tell the Families how you are praying for them.

-Remind them they are special, loved, smart and full of potential.

-Tell about your family and the place you live.

-Share some of the things you like to do.

-Share stories about having good character by serving others and being honest.

-Share the importance of Love, Honesty, Obedience, and Responsibility in the name of Christ. (These are core values we teach at our Village Values event)

-Don't include promises of coming to see your sponsored child.

-Include what progrm the letter is intended for on the outside of the letter.

 

Where to send your Letters:

 

Hands and Feet Project, Inc.

Attn: Stronger Together

PO Box 682105

Franklin, TN 37068





Career & Volunteer Opportunities

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

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!

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

Donations

 

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.

 
 

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

General Questions

 

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.

Haiti Culture

 

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!

Mission Trips & Ikondo

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. 
 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.
 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.
 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Policy

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.

Reach

 

You can log into your Reach account by clicking here.

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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!