How We’re Different

We believe the greatest chance for lasting change in people’s lives comes by empowering them to provide for themselves through increased household income.

We offer a hand up to people who are doing their part to improve their circumstances, connecting them with training, tools and opportunities.

Though our projects take many different forms, they all focus on economic empowerment, following proven business processes that ensure our partners have ownership from the start and require no long- term outside resources.

The result: economic empowerment that can transform generations.

Why do we give a hand up instead of a handout?

Giving a handout is easier than giving a hand up.  It requires no research, listening, testing or commitment. But handouts do nothing to relieve entrenched poverty and the people that suffer in it. We believe a hand up — economic empowerment from increased household income — is the path to lasting, long-term change that elicits hope, dignity and independence in the remarkable people we serve, for three primary reasons:

1. Helping can hurt.

While giving to the countless people in need around the world seems kind and loving on the surface, the difficult truth is that one-way giving often ultimately hurts the person and community the giver is trying to help in a number of ways:

Handouts destroy personal dignity.

Handouts tell recipients they have nothing valuable to offer in return for the gift. It can make the recipient feel pitied, wearing away at his or her self-worth.

Handouts can damage existing local economies.

Free programs, labor and gifts often have far-reaching, unintended consequences. They can erode an entrepreneurial spirit among locals and take away already limited opportunities from local businesses.

Handouts lead to dependency.

Handouts may initially evoke appreciation from recipients, but continued one-way giving can quickly lead to expectation, entitlement and eventually dependency. This robs recipients of an opportunity to claim the dignity, pride and independence that come from doing their part to improve their circumstances. There is a time and place for emergency relief efforts, but the long-term development that changes generations requires an approach focused on economic empowerment, not one-way giving.

2. We believe remarkable people can do remarkable things.

We believe that the people we serve are truly remarkable. They survive and thrive in the face of living conditions and daily challenges that the average American cannot fathom. Each person has God-given talents, abilities, interests and motivations that, when connected with the necessary training and resources, have the power to transform generations. Learn more about the remarkable people we serve…

3. Lasting impact comes through economic empowerment.

We believe the greatest chance for lasting change in people’s lives comes by empowering them to provide for themselves. We identify opportunities that are simple, repeatable and viable for the people we serve without our ongoing support. Learn more about our approach…

Change everything.

The hand up you provide could be the turning point for an individual who has expressed a genuine desire to improve his or her circumstances.

100% of your contribution goes to project costs.