In developing partnerships between Egyptians and Americans, HANDS’ work has two foci: increasing intercultural understanding and bringing socioeconomic stability to communities in Egypt.
To promote better understanding and, where needed, reconciliation between these countries, HANDS has a number of exchange and dialogue opportunities:
Our “Insight Trips” introduce Americans to the history, faith communities, culture and people of Egypt.
HANDS also runs an Egyptian-American Dialogue, bringing together community leaders from both countries to explore different perspectives, find areas of commonality and take back to their constituents a more nuanced and appreciative view of the other culture.
Additionally, HANDS offers educational opportunities for community or faith groups wishing to learn more about the Middle East. These are tailored to the interests of the group and arranged through our headquarters in Washington, DC. We also provide Americans an opportunity to “touch” Egypt through our sales of handicrafts made by the women at one of the projects we support, the Association for the Protection of the Environment. These sales are held regularly in a number of American cities and can be arranged in new locations upon request.
HANDS also builds partnerships between Americans and Egyptians to support community development efforts. Foundations, congregations and individuals find HANDS to be an important link to the work they wish to support in Egypt. HANDS screens programs that apply for funding, finds potential funding partners for the organizations we have approved for support, facilitates communication between the partners in both countries and provides project oversight. Visits to the communities and volunteer opportunities can also be arranged in many cases.