Hands Together was founded in 1986 by Fr. Tom Hagan after he led a group of Lafayette College students to Haiti and was compelled to respond to the needs of the poor there. He left his post as Catholic Chaplain of Princeton University and moved to Port-au-Prince in 1997. Since then, Hands Together has emerged as a key educational and development organization working in Haiti's largest and poorest slum, Cite Soleil. We have built free schools where there were none and provided every student with a daily hot meal. We have 7 campuses, including a high school, as well as a free clinic and an elderly outreach and housing program. We are one of Cite Soleil's largest employers, giving decent, service-oriented jobs to hundreds of residents.
Our programs outside of Port-au-Prince promote human development among the rural poor through water well digging, agricultural programs and production, and assisting the poorest schools, clinics, and parishes in the northern diocese of Gonaives and in Cap Haitien.
Hands Together provides hope to the poor living in Haiti. Our work is founded upon the Catholic teaching that recognizes the dignity of every human life and a fundamental responsibility to the poor and vulnerable.
Hands Together is a non-profit organization devoted to educating, inspiring, and encouraging people to understand the importance of responding to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Our Mission, as we strive to build a more compassionate and human world, proceeds from the spiritual belief that we are all members of one, equal, interconnected family under a loving God.
Focus - "responding to the cry of the poor"
Hands Together grew out of Fr. Tom Hagan's wish that college students and others hear "the cry of the poor" and "see the face of Jesus" in people living in the slums and rural areas in Haiti. Our projects rest upon a foundation of Catholic social teaching that recognizes the dignity of every person and the fundamental responsibility for the poor and vulnerable. We embrace, with a special love, people who are completely marginalized and are living in squalor.
By establishing schools, orphanages, nutrition and feeding programs, medical clinics, sustainable-development projects, and partnerships with local leaders and communities, Hands Together is building a better world for thousands of suffering people in Haiti. Hands Together volunteers bring needed skills to many of our educational, health and sustainable-development projects. Hands Together supports other projects that align with our mission, both in Haiti and elsewhere.