Who are we
Water Hands Hope is a small, Hawaii-based nonprofit organization dedicated to creating sustainable, multidisciplinary solutions that directly improve the health and wellbeing of those in the most under-resourced and remote communities of the world. Our unofficial motto is “Reaching the Unreached.”
How we started
Our story begins in 2014 in Papua New Guinea - in the Madan Community of Jiwaka Province - they had just seceded from Western Highlands Province and had not yet established government infrastructure for health, safety, security, etc.
There were only seven of us and we spent a lot of time meeting with community leaders and worked hard to:
Expand and improve operations at the tiny community health clinic (serving a population of over 10,000).
Fit prosthetic hands onto victims of violence (especially gender-based violence),
Build a rainwater catchment system for an elementary school, and Provide training and lectures for physicians and nurses at Mount Hagen General Hospital, Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, and Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital (Kundiawa).
We have since returned annually (aside from 2020-21 due to COVID) and have expanded on the four projects above, working hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder with local leaders and villagers to support and empower them to build rain catchments for additional neighboring schools as well as “community comfort centers” that each include toilets, showers, a clothes-washing station, and solar lighting, helping reduce rates of gender-based violence.
We started women’s groups and also partnered with Voice for Change as well as PNG Tribal Foundation and their “Senisim Pasin” campaign for rural villagers to initiate and engage in discussions about gender-based violence.
We have annually tested and mapped water sources to ensure their safety. We added volunteer experts in curriculum design and linguistics to publish (1) a locally-written teacher manuals for water sanitation and hygiene education in elementary schools and (2) a Tok Pisin medical dictionary for visiting healthcare workers.
Not our primary function, but we have also brought hundreds of thousands of dollars of donated life-saving medical equipment and supplies over the past 8 years.