Traditions & Spirituality
Our traditions draw upon our Catholic-Christian teachings and we realize that the beliefs expressed here are shared across cultural and religious boundaries and are common among people who wish to build a better world. We embrace a Catholic spirituality that emphasized a loving God and the intrinsic worth of every human person. These traditions guide our decisions relating to organizational structure, management, programs, and projects as we strive to respond to the needs of the poor in Haiti and elsewhere, regardless of race or creed.
We believe in a loving God and dedicate ourselves and our work to God's greater glory.
At the heart of all that Hands Together does is an unshakable belief in a loving God-a God who took care of us in our yesterdays, cares for us today, and will take care of us in our tomorrows. We believe that true human worth comes from God who loves us infinitely and unconditionally. We seek to better know God through prayer, reflection and sharing with one another. In our service to the poor of Haiti, pray to God for direction and strength to do our best to help others. We place the outcome of our work and service into God's hands and ultimately trust in He who is our loving Creator.
Although we have a strong Catholic-Christian foundation, we welcome all people who know our God by a different name and who express their faith differently than we do.
We recognize and strive to affirm the fundamental worth of every human being in our response to the needs of the poor.
In our efforts to meet the needs of the poorest of the poor, we look for ways to empower people and contribute to their self-sufficiency. Our efforts spring from a genuine compassion for the poor and an understanding that we share this life with others and are called to respond to their needs. Many of our projects are community-based and we strive to recognize and affirm leadership within the community. We consciously try to affirm the dignity of the women of Haiti and we support projects that contribute to the betterment of their lives. We believe that true human development ultimately leaves a person more free, joyous, and able to use one's God given talents for the good of others. Through education, spiritual formation and shared service, we can achieve this development. In our view, development is not simply meeting basic survival needs, it encompasses the whole person. Therefore, we strive to provide comprehensive development through our EDUCATION, SELF-HELP/SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, MEDICAL, and NUTRITION programs.
We are committed to establishing relationships and discovering commonalties between each other. We feel this is crucial in our efforts to build a more compassionate and human world.
We believe that everyone is connected by the bond of Love, and that God has created each of us to be of unique service to one another. We seek to work alongside the people of Haiti, as friends, mentors and resource people. By providing experiences through which people share in the work and life of the poor of Haiti, we believe that people will recognize that human beings are basically the same - loved equally in the eyes of God.
We embrace a simple life-style.
Our conduct in Haiti should reflect moderation and simplicity. In the words of St. Francis DeSales "Desire nothing, refuse nothing, in that lies all perfection." Our expectations, our needs, our appetites, and our tastes should be truly modest. In the spirit of true humility, we try to look beyond our own needs and posses a genuine concern for the needs of other people, especially those who suffer.
We believe that serving the poor is a privilege and an obligation.
In the spirit of justice, we believe that every one of us has an obligation to work for justice for the poorest of the poor. By acknowledging our abundant blessings, we generously wish to share our resources and talents with those less fortunate. We recognize that the opportunity to serve others is a gift. We expect no reward! Indeed, it is our belief that we are not doing the people of Haiti any great favor by offering our services, but that we are gaining from them far more than we are giving to them.
We are not allied with any political sect or denomination. We neither endorse nor oppose any civic causes. We do not engage in public controversy or debate.
We stick to our mission: responding to the needs of the poor and striving to build a better world. We do not become embroiled in outside political and public issues.
While in Haiti, under the authority of Hands Together, volunteers and visitors willingly adopt the traditions, policies, rules, and regulations of Hands Together.
"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
Dr. Martin Luther King