Why donate to Hands Across Nations?
Thank you for considering a donation to Hands Across Nations.
There are many organizations which are doing positive things in Africa. It is critical, then, that you know who we are, what we are doing specifically and how, and what are the outcomes and benefits of how we are spending HAN’s donated funds.
A short history of how we started and how we operate
- Keith and Carolyn Jones, from Washington State in the U.S. are the Co-Directors, “on the ground” in Lira, N. Uganda. Carolyn has been going to Uganda since 2001, and Keith since 2009. We have lived there full time since 2013.
- We are dedicated to stretching every dollar to it’s maximum use, and daily accounting for expenditures by our staff.
- At first, the focus was on Carolyn doing short term mission trips for teaching/training in Physical Therapy, overseeing clean water projects, starting a sewing school and supporting students in school.
- Since 2012, due to high illiteracy of the Lango tribal people in the villages of N. Uganda, often as high as 85%+, we realized our focus needed to be narrowed to training in reading and writing. A 20 year war, ending in 2007, had led to this horrendous situation. Our program, using a method pioneered by Literacy and Evangelism International, Tulsa, OK, U.S.A., is called “Learning to Read to Read the Bible”. In the prisons we have also started classes for English (Ugandan national language) as a second language.
- We are now working full time with a small Ugandan staff, training teachers, setting up classes, distributing primers, blackboards and reading glasses, and setting up classes in prisons and villages, along with lepers and the disabled. It is our strong desire to serve the poorest of the poor. Recently we have started setting up libraries in prisons.
- By printing our own reading materials we are able to keep our costs very low. We also require our learners in the villages to purchase them for just over our cost. Prisoners, Lepers and the disabled receive materials without cost. Our trained teachers are 100% unpaid volunteers, seeing this as their ministry to their neighbors, loving them as they love themselves.
- Doors are opening everywhere – there is no shortage of opportunities. There are nearly 20,000 learners in classes, more than 3,000 teachers trained and over 1,400 have graduated and passed literacy exams since the first class started in 2014.
- Private outside donations, not HAN donations, have funded our airline transportation, most marketing items and tools, our two 1994 Toyota Land Cruisers, and our washing machine and dryer. Keith and I are full time non salary volunteers. Therefore donations go almost exclusively toward funding the projects and programs.
How donated funds are used
- Rental, repair and utilities of home/office building inside a compound with armed guard and guard dog.
- Upkeep on vehicles, fuel, etc
- Food, medical care for Missionaries and 5 – 6 staff
- Salaries of 5-6 full time staff: Teacher trainers, translators, farming/garden upkeep, household work, printing staff, illustrator for books
- Internet, office supplies, printing supplies for primers, Bible booklets, Reading sheets, and supplies for making blackboards etc.
- Student sponsorships – 5-6 children
- As needed, medical assistance to prisoners and lepers/disabled.
Besides monetary donations, other things needed are:
People with big hearts and some skills, to come work beside us for 1-3 months at a time! This is a great opportunity to experience the Ugandan culture close up, way off the beaten tourist route!
Volunteering in Uganda:
- Microsoft Office Software Programs
- “Word” to transcribe Bible translations and edit with the translators
- “Publisher” to prepare for printing documents such as books of the Bible and 2-3 page Bible Reading Sheets
- “Excel” To do bookkeeping entries
- “Access” to set up a data base to track all the many Classes, Teachers, Learners and Reading Sheets that are sent out
- Mechanical Skills
- Auto/motorcycle mechanic
- Electrician to set up the back-up power wiring
- Welding to build the solar night security lights
- Carpentry to construct the work shop
- Some cabinetry to build simple shelves, tables and benches
- Help install razor wire on wall around compound
- Love people
- Visit in the prisons
- Visit the lepers and disabled
- Go to villages on deliveries and literacy follow-ups
- Driver – 4 wheel, Right side steering, driving on L side of road, dangerous
- Trouble shooting and general repair of most everything – jack of all trades
Volunteering in the U.S.
Help plan and carry out our Benefit Dinner/Auction held in October each year:
- Be on a planning team meeting 2xmonth during July & Aug, 1xwk in Sept/Oct
- Help plan and cook meal, week of dinner
- Bake Desserts
- Assist with collecting Live and Silent Auction items
- Serve & Greet at the dinner
- Set up and take down the tables, chairs, decorations etc
- Design posters, flyers, tickets, advertisements, brochures
- Contact churches in the area and disperse posters and benefit info