The “Why” behind our new Partnering with Communities Project

Hands & Feet Project has a long history with Haiti. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in operation since 2004 – almost 20 years! Throughout these years, we have been involved in the community through service initiatives and special projects. However, I would describe most of these prior efforts as “reactive,” responding to crises as they arose. In 2023, our organization is shifting its focus to being more proactive regarding the communities we operate in and the needs of its members.

This expansion of our mission into “communities” is primarily due to Haiti’s current situation and the desperate need for relief efforts and more significant support. Secondarily, being proactive within our communities allows us to be more strategic and intentional in meeting those needs that are being presented to our team.

With a diverse network of people representing various groups within each community and a system of churches, pastors, and congregational members, we will have a more interconnected covering, a broader network, and a deeper understanding of what is happening in each community; this will allow us to discern better and prioritize needs as we have more individuals invested in how Hands & Feet Project partners within the community.

Through our Partnering with Communities Project, we intend to be strategic and proactive in our involvement to strengthen the communities we serve, support families, and prevent vulnerable children from being abandoned, abused, neglected, and trafficked, all devastating activities that happen more frequently when communities are struggling.

At Hands & Feet Project, we serve vulnerable children, their families, and their communities. By reversing that order, we improve communities and strengthen families who can help and protect the vulnerable children within them.

Our Partnering with Communities Project will start in the communities that Hands & Feet Project currently operates in, Jacmel and Grand Goave, hoping to partner with and expand into additional communities in Haiti. Hands & Feet Project will lead in the fundraising efforts for this project; through this partnership, both Hands & Feet Project and Upstream International will use these funds to cover the cost of operating these programs, which includes items such as benevolence funds to communities and funds paid to local leaders for their work.

We have chosen to collaborate with Upstream International because of the similarities in our mission and values and because they have experience facilitating these programs in Cité Soleil, a neighborhood in Port au Prince, through which we have seen firsthand the fruit of their ministry for the Kingdom of God.

The Programs in this Project will include the Church & Pastoral Support Program and the Christian Community Development Program. The purpose of our Church & Pastoral Support Program is to provide needed resources to churches and their pastoral staff with the intent to pursue evangelism, missions, community support, and outreach. Through this program, local churches will have greater capacity and authority to support their community’s spiritual and physical needs and the children and families within them.

The purpose of our Christian Community Development Program is to identify and develop a group of community leaders in Jacmel and Grand Goave with the intent to have a joint counsel that will meet quarterly. Through this group, we will gain deeper insight into the needs of the communities surrounding Hands & Feet Project, which will provide a road map on what, where, when, and how to act on requests that impact vulnerable children, their families, and their communities.

We invite you to join us in this new chapter of Hands & Feet Project, Partnering with Communities Project. We believe that by working together, we can significantly impact the communities we serve and the vulnerable children within them. You can support us through prayers and donations. Let’s make a difference together and be proactive in helping those in need. We appreciate your support.