15 Years Building Equality
It has been fifteen years since Hands of Help was founded in 2005 by a group of committed medical students, passionate about improving access to basic human rights for the most poverty-stricken people in the world. Many of these original volunteers continue to dedicate hours of their time towards maintaining these goals, while simultaneously completing their specialist training and raising young families.
One of the most wonderful achievements of the organisation is that a vast majority of those who volunteered have forged careers in international public health & indigenous health, or spend a portion of their clinical year working in a voluntary capacity, using their skills to serve those who need them most.
Caught up in our day-to-day lives, we are often stopped in our tracks when we realise the impact many of our projects have had.
For example, in 2006, while working as a volunteer at St Francis Orphanage, professional photographer Hamish Gregory snapped the above image at dusk one day of a young boy continuing to study at his desk long after the afternoon bell had chimed. Over the following years, this orphan was lost to follow-up when St Francis was suddenly closed by Kenyan authorities. He found relatives in Western Kenya to live with, and was spending his days trying to earn meagre income to survive. Education had become a lost dream.
Hamish exhibited his work on return to Australia donating a portion of all profits raised to Hands of Help (it is through this generous contribution that one child - Albert Karisa (pictured right) received a full vocational training education and is now working as a qualified carpenter). The image of the young boy studying at his desk was bought by a Melbourne resident and hung proudly on his wall in an urban office setting; yet every day this generous man wondered what had become of this young boy. He wrote to Hands of Help in early 2008 and asked if the boy could be found, wanting to sponsor him to ensure he received an education. Thanks to the dedication of the wonderful Kenyan staff working with our partner organisation African Kids in Need (AKIN), over a period of many months and with some persistent investigatory work Paul Thuku was eventually found. The generous Melbournian donor is now sponsoring him to attend a boarding secondary school in Nairobi. More information on this wonderful story of hope can be viewed in the video below.