For over 15 years, the Hands and Feet Project has been providing family-style, residential care for Haiti’s orphaned and abandoned children. Inspired by fan reaction to their song, “Hands and Feet,” the Christian music group Audio Adrenaline founded the organization in 2004. Beginning just outside of Jacmel, Haiti (Cyvadier), property was purchased and the dream to provide a home for orphaned and abandoned children took root. Drex and Jo Stuart came in as our first missionaries later that year, and by 2005 the Hands and Feet Project welcomed our first child, Tamara. She has grown into a young lady who is known as our social butterfly, filled with sensitivity and a love for people.
The Hands and Feet Project quickly started to see it’s Children’s Village growing along with hosting short term missionaries to serve alongside our team in Haiti. As the community relationships grew, so did the vision for community assistance. In 2008, a program to help mothers in crisis with health and sanitation training, vitamins, and supplements was put into place. Four years in, the team linked arms with local pastors and organizations to rescue children from a corrupt institution. As a result, a new Hands and Feet Project Children’s Village was formed in Grand Goave, Haiti.
Over the next few years, the team would host hundreds of short term missionaries, assist in relief efforts after a devastating earthquake, and continue to lean into the needs of the people of Haiti. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the Hands and Feet Project decided to push deeper into the emotional care of the children, and began a partnership with The Refuge Center in Franklin, TN. This led to a furthering of the vision in the ways that we structure long term, residential care for children at the Hands and Feet Project. As the team sifted through this, the Circle of Care was implemented to tend to the children’s physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual health. As this passion pushed the vision forward, the Hands and Feet Project officially added “Fighting for Families” to the mission statement, making family preservation efforts a foundational goal. Haiti Made was then founded as a job creation initiative for children transitioning out of orphan care and mothers in crisis. An expansion of the Jacmel campus soon followed, to prepare for the nearly 70 children that reside there today.
As the operation of the Hands and Feet Project had grown to care for over 100 children on two campuses and host many short-term trips, the team began to set forth a vision for a place to host a more dignified and equitable exchange between the Haitian people and trip-goers. This vision is a direct result of the Hands and Feet Project’s pursuit to transform the way the church looks at missions. In 2015, the team began construction on IKONDO, a mission guest house that doubles as a job creation initiative that hosts families, churches, and individuals on mission trips. Our new goal is for our guests to experience Haiti in new ways through our Explore, Retreat, and Serve initiatives.
The Hands and Feet Project team is deeply committed to Haiti. We are passionate about caring for the people God has placed in our care. We work tirelessly in hopes to see each child reach their God-given potential. We strive to see families reunified, to see the child abandonment cycles in Haiti no longer exist at current levels, and to see children raised by family. Our team continues to dive deeper into the needs around them and respond as able. Lastly, we celebrate what God has done, the growth we have seen and hold to a deep belief that there is, indeed, more to come.
Hands and Feet, along with the rest of Southern Haiti, continues to recover from one of the worlds worst natural disasters. Hands and Feet pushes deeper into the emotional care needs of the children in partnership with the Refuge Center.