At Hands we teach our kids to dream big; we encourage them to be ambitious, to seek out opportunity, and to have the courage to face challenges head on.
Well I have a confession to make… I have needed more than one reminder to practise what we preach in the last 18 months. Like most organisations, we have struggled to keep our doors open. As a charity that relies mostly on overseas travel experiences, on shore events and a strong connection with our homes in Thailand to raise funds, we have pretty much been wiped out.
However, we have hung in there, we have kept pushing on, and we remain optimistic that there is a light at the end of the covid tunnel. We have tried and we have failed in some areas, but the message in that is that we’ve been willing to take risks, to innovate, to change the status quo and we’ll keep getting back up because of our kids.
Come back to why you do what you do.
On my last trip to Home Hug, one of the homes that we support in Thailand, I held the tiniest little baby who was born premature, left by his parents in the hospital and given up on by the doctors who were caring for him. Our selfless director Mae Thiew took him into her home and made one promise: to give him love and support in his final days. Because the little guy had very little chance of survival.
Fast forward 16 months and Tong Kla is healthy, strong and loved. He will continue to grow in a safe and loving environment because of the work that we do at Hands.
Our support doesn't end with our little ones; on the other end of the spectrum we have incredible kids who are turning into the most remarkable young adults. Personally, I have closely followed Aom’s journey since she took my hand in 2011 to show me around her beautiful home. That little girl represented so much of my journey and will always hold a special place in my heart.
When I heard the news that Aom had finished high school and will be going on to do graphic design at college, my heart burst. I have watched this young woman face challenges, overcome adversity, and grow into a talented young creative who will go onto big things.
So, as I sit at my computer each day, and as I ask for support and donations, I do this for one reason only: to ensure all of our kids get the same opportunities as Aom.
Education is at the core of the work that we do at Hands
The right to education is one of the key principles underpinning the Education 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 4 adopted by the international community. Education is required to empower people with the knowledge, skills and values to live in dignity, build their lives and contribute to their societies.
We work year round to provide our kids with education, and over 75% of the income that funds the operation of our charity comes from our annual Future of Leadership Series.
Future of Leadership - an event that is (literally) changing lives
Future of Leadership is a social movement to bring about meaningful change in the lives of the children that we support through Hands Across the Water. It is an event that is focused on the education of business leaders to support the education of our future leaders in Thailand.
In 2021 our event series will be held across 9 locations in Australia and New Zealand with an incredible line up of speakers who have all donated their time and cover their own expenses to attend the event.
Together, we can bring about meaningful change. For the leaders who attend our events, and for the kids who benefit from the support.
Purchase tickets at https://go.futureofleadership.com.au/ and us CLAIRE15 to nab 15% off your tickets.