Hands of Help was established in 2005 by a University of Sydney medical student, Phoebe WIlliams, who will graduate in 2008 to become a doctor. With a background in development economics and having visited East-Africa first hand, Phoebe returned to Australia determined to go back to Africa with more time, money, and people to make a difference.
With overwhelming support and enthusiasm from close friends and other medical students, Hands of Help - a non-religious charity - was created. The first group of volunteers, showing amazing commitment to Phoebe's simple idea, fundraised over $100,000 and sent 17 volunteers over the summer of 2005-2006 to rebuild a primary school for 650 children in remote Uganda. Volunteers also conducted hut-to-hut surveys using local interpreters, which found people had no access to even basic preventative health care, and access to advanced medical clinics was virtually impossible. On the back of these findings, Hands of Help founded the Community Health Project, run by Ugandans and for Ugandans, in conjunction with the International Medical Group.
In 2006, Hands of Help sent a further 60 volunteers, including 50 medical students from The University of Sydney, Flinders University, The University of Queensland and The Australian National University, to rebuild another two schools in Uganda - St Kinzinga and Buwagi Primary Schools. A third group of volunteers traveled to Kenya to work at St Francis Orphanage in Nairobi (now the children receiving our support through the Child Sponsorship Program), and in Australia, two groups of medical students traveled to the Far West of NSW to work with local Aboriginal Medical Services conducting preventative health checks.
Even more medical students were given experience in Indigenous Health in 2007, when the project was expanded to include the Northern Rivers region of NSW and was made a finalist in the NSW Aboriginal Health Awards. A further 25 volunteers from across Australia also traveled to Uganda, this time to the war-torn region of the North, where Wanseko Primary School was rebuilt for hundreds of Ugandan children. The Community Health Project was also expanded by establishing 'The Aldo Project', focusing on reaching HIV-positive patients in Northern Uganda with access to life-saving antiretroviral medication.
Hands of Help works to build equality to alleviate poverty, advance education and provide for the relief from sickness and disability for people living in developing countries and for disadvantaged people residing in developed countries. We work tirelessly as a team of volunteers committed to building equality in the world, and as such, 99% of all our funds raised have been spent directly on the ground in Africa.
Download our information booklet