For nearly 20 years, Hands Across the Water has sought to provide equal value to those that support the work that we do as much as those that benefit from the support that we generate. The value that has flowed back to those that provide financial support to the charity has been in witnessing the growth and development of the children in a safe and happy environment, but it has also been in the participation in meaningful shared experiences that have enriched their lives.
This is our journey.
Hands started out supporting 34 children in the small community of Khao Lak and due to the increased demand of our services and through the generosity of our community and valued partners has expanded its reach to care for 350 children across 7 projects in Thailand. Hands has gone from employing one staff member to providing employment to over 60 people across Thailand.
Boxing Day Tsunami, the deadliest natural disaster in history, took 5,395 lives in Thailand and left 34 children in the Khao Lak area without family, food and shelter.
Hands Across the Water was created; a seed sown by Peter Baines and Gill Williams following their work in the recovery efforts and a chance meeting with Khun Rotjana, the director of Baan Tharn Namchai.
Baan Tharn Namchai - a home in the Takua-Pa region - was built and opened to provide shelter for the 34 kids left without family. This home would become the foundation for the Hands journey.
Peter Baines went to San Francisco to speak at the NARTA Conference. That conference would change the course of direction for Hands Across the Water. A meaningful relationship in the making with Kay Spencer and Michael Jackson together with the support of their members and suppliers.
Hands purchases a rubber plantation to contribute to the sustainability of the home and the kids future. The rubber plantation would provide employment opportunities for the local community and education for the kids.
17 individuals from Australia joined Brigid Gibsons crazy idea to cycle 800km from Bangkok to Khao Lak raising $10,000 each to support the work of Hands. Today, Ride to Provide lives on with 5 rider and 250 participants taking part in the experience each year.
Due to the growing demand for care in the Takua-Pa region, a second building was constructed to provide additional space for the children. This new building was funded by long-time Hands supporter NARTA.
Peter Baines was introduced to Mae Thiew who was caring for HIV children up in the north east of Thailand. Children were dying on a frequent basis; Hands couldn’t walk away from that therefore made a long term commitment to provide life saving medicine and improve the standard of living that stopped kids dying.
Hands deepened its relationship with the Duang Prateep Foundation through support of their New Life Project initiative in Kanchanaburi - a home for girls and young children from the slums who did not have the best start to life.
A new community centre in a local fishing village was built to provide education and day care to children living in the poor region still impacted by the effects of the Tsunami. Baan Nam Khem would go on to become an additional revenue stream as well as a Tsunami refuge for the local villagers.
Hands Group formed as a social enterprise to sit next to the charity to generate commercial income to cover the administration and marketing costs to ensure that 100% of donations goes to Thailand.
Hands increased the support to the Duang Prateep Foundation through a second New Life Project in Chumphon caring for older boys who were in desperate need of a second chance. This partnership would take the Hands commitment to 5 projects.
Baan Home Hug Surin opens as an additional property to support our kids who were ostracised from school due to their medical situation. The home which is 1.5 hours away from Home Hug provides a safe haven for the kids to stay during the week so they can go to school away from the stereotypes that the locals place on them back in their hometown. This home was funded by the efforts of the annual Business Blueprint bike ride.
Craft shop opened at Baan Tharn Namchai to provide sustainable income back into the home. Funded by NARTA and their members, the craft shop provides employment to 6 local Thai women and opportunities for the kids to gain skills and future employment.
PAMA House opened off the back of one man’s dream to provide food, shelter and education to the children in the Chanthaburi area. The home cares for 16 children who have been abandoned, neglected, or have no known family to care for them.
Commenced a rebuilding project in the Slums of Bangkok to build one home at a time to support the poor, eldery and disabled living in the area. This program would go on to build 14 homes in partnership with corporate organisations who would fund these projects.
As the kids were growing with Hands, there was an increased need to raise funds to support the kids through university. The Hands University Scholarship Program in full operation would see 47 children in university across Thailand. Game and Mook, two students from BTN graduate with Law and Marketing degrees.
The English Language Program - supported by the New Zealand Hands Across the Water entity - commenced with teachers taking on long term stays in the homes to provide english lessons to the children.
A new nursery opened at Baan Tharn Namchai to support the growing number of babies being left in the care of the home.
Christmas Eve was a sad day for Hands and the children as our beloved Khun Rotjana lost her battle with Cancer. Leaving a big hole in the hearts and home that she had built.
Game, a former student of Baan Tharn Namchai, returns to succeed his idol, his mum, Khun Rotjana. Following in her footsteps Game continues the legacy of a home filled with love and hope for the children.
Opening of a new Learning Centre up at Home Hug built to provide early education for children in the area and a digital learning environment for children to learn skills for future employment. This project is funded by Seek Foundation and Digital Live.
Hands Across the Water Projects
Hands Across the Water runs seven homes and projects throughout Thailand supporting over 350 Thai children and their communities. While our origins date back to the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, the need to support children who haven't been dealt the best cards in life is very much still there. We are committed for the long term and that means that all children in our care will live a life of choice rather than one of chance.
Since 2009 Hands Across the Water (Hands) has run charity bike rides such as our annual January "Ride to Provide". Every year the money raised from these ride experiences provides critical funding to the operations of the seven homes Hands supports across Thailand, housing over 350 kids.
At Hands we work on the principle that supporting charity should be good for you, not just those receiving the money. Personally benefiting from your involvement in charity, be it physically or mentally, or both as we find in our riders' feedback, creates a profound experience that delivers impact, which will last a lifetime.
These rides provide many benefits to Hands, as well as to our riders and partner organisations including sales and relationship building with clients, broadened horizons and mindsets, and improved employee health, motivation, and engagement.
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