Two chicken farmers and their chickens.

About us

Look at poverty differently and you’ll see grassroots entrepreneurs, full of energy and ideas.  We help turn their skills and potential into jobs. They find a way up and out of poverty.

Hand in Hand International is a member of the Hand in Hand Network, a global group of NGOs working to fight poverty in 10 countries and counting. Our goal is to create 10 million jobs in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Two indian children sitting in the street playing with bicycle parts.

Indian children play in the street

2003: Hand in Hand Co-Founder Percy Barnevik teams up with local development specialist Dr Kalpana Sankar, a nuclear physicist by training, to help expand a small charity. Together, they begin to devise the Hand in Hand job creation model.

Two Afghan men discussing a craft-work.

Honey producers | Afghanistan

2007: Hand in Hand Afghanistan launches at the request of then-President Hamid Karzai. The operation is established by staff from India, setting the tone for our continued emphasis on South-to-South knowledge transfer.

A shop owner discussing her business plan with Hand in Hand Southern Africa staff.

Naomi Masilo | Shop owner | South Africa

2008: Hand in Hand Southern Africa launches in Bryanston, a suburb of Johannesburg, with three staff and a cramped office. Today the operation has 240 staff in four countries: South Africa,Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

Hannah Haciku, a tailor in Nairobi, Kenya with two children

Hannah Haciku | Tailor | Nairobi, Kenya

2010: Hand in Hand Eastern Africa launches in Nairobi, Kenya. Pauline Ngari signs on as CEO, bringing with her years of expertise as one of the country’s foremost authorities on microfinance.

Group exercise | Cambodia

Group exercise | Cambodia

2012: Hand in Hand India launches a pilot in Cambodia.

Gloria, a farmer, standing in front of her crops holding a bunch of carrots.

Gloria Kabagwira | Organic produce farmer | Rwanda

2013: Hand in Hand Eastern Africa partners with CARE International to empower some 80,000 Rwandans, mostly women, to work their way of poverty by running their own sustainable businesses. The US $3.2 million partnership is slated to last three years.

A group of Cambodian children playing.

Children play in Myanmar

2013: Hand in Hand India continues its regional expansion by setting up in Myanmar.

Boston Skyline.

Boston skyline

2014: Friends of Hand in Hand International launches in Boston, enabling US citizens to make tax deductible donations. Board members include Bruce Grant, Chair of Hand in Hand International and Founder of Applied Value LLC; John McArthur, former dean of Harvard Business School and former director of Chase Manhattan; Sven Sandström, former managing director of the World Bank and former CEO of Hand in Hand International; and Chris Jochnick, director of Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department.