What We Do - Hands of Freedom
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What We Do

young boys learning

Education

A Path to a Brighter Future

Lack of education among the poorest of the poor is another major challenge that our communities face. In India, 58 percent of the children living in poverty don’t complete primary schools and 90 percent of the poor don’t complete their studies.

Students drop out due to a lack of availability of schools in remote areas, lack of awareness of education and forced child labor among the lower income population. Many children are not sent to school but sent to work to make about $1 per day in order to help the family. As a result they become further entangled in the cycle of poverty.

Another tragic effect of poverty is trafficking where young girls are lured in with the hope of finding work and then sold in the red light districts and forced to become prostitutes. In most cases daughters born to these women are also forced into prostitution.

Hands of Freedom launches schools that provide what is often the first, and perhaps only, chance for some children to receive an education and escape a life of poverty. These include K-12 schools as well as vocational schools in each district. The Lord has provided a way for them to start a new life with a changed destiny.

As part of our community outreach program, each school is contributing to a more sustainable Kingdom of Christ.

Sponsor a child living in poverty in India and change their destiny

woman holding jewelry

Savings & Credit Associations

Lifting People Out of Poverty

Economic vulnerability exposes the poor in India to exploitation of all kinds, and economic stability is a key to keeping families out of the hands of loan sharks, traffickers and legalized slavery known as “bonded labor”.

Hands of Freedom launches savings programs as part of its outreach to build the capacity of the poor. We use self-managed, voluntary groups of up to 20 members for these savings activities. The savings groups meet monthly, at which time members contribute a small amount of savings (previously determined by the group, typically $1–$5 per meeting) to a group fund, which is deposited in the name of the group at a local bank.

After six months, members may to take small loans from this fund. Savings groups act as a forum for the members to provide space and support to each other. They also enable the members to learn to cooperate and work in a group environment. With a focus on savings and group development, this methodology targets the most basic financial needs of poor rural and urban (slum-dwelling) women.

Members are also provided with various vocational training opportunities, particularly home-based manufacturing training (e.g. handbags, cleaners, baked goods). They are also provided monthly markets and local distribution channels via churches and retailers (e.g. baked good booths at church, linking manufacturers to local retailers, linking caterers to churches).

Hands of Freedom also supports business development training that covers topics such as product selection, pricing, marketing and management. Members who have the skill set to start a business are offered this training. Many of these women are empowered by being deployed back in their communities to be change agents for the Lord.

Sponsor a mentor for vulnerable women or a small business for women in poverty

boy carrying water

Water & Health Services

Providing Hope through Health

Access to clean drinking water is a big challenge for our communities. In many instances, women have to spend a large part of their day finding water. On many occasions children are pulled out of school to carry enough water for their family needs.

Hands of Freedom is changing lives by providing solutions to the most fundamental needs.

  • Water well projects: Hands of Freedom installs wells sponsored by individuals, families, churches and other organizations. Access to clean water has greatly reduced water-borne diseases as well as freed up women to be able to engage in earning a livelihood and children are able to stay in school. Once the well is installed, any remaining funds go toward community support including mentoring, school supplies and vocational training.
  • Healthful living education: Learning healthier habits is essential to creating a more vital and vibrant kingdom of Christ. We teach these tools as a foundation to building healthier communities.
  • Basic medical services: Church buildings are used to provide these basic services.

Sponsor a water project