About Us

Some of you may know our story and others will just know parts so if we start from the beginning then you will gain some context to our plans and hopefully you too will start to capture some of our passion and vision.  

Back in 2000, before we were even married Dan spent a year with SIM; at the end of that year we both spent four weeks on a team in India.  It was whilst we were there that a desire started to grow within us to work with the desperately poor in somewhere other than our home country.

We got married, and then spent a further 6 weeks in Ethiopia working with street kids.  This further confirmed our thoughts and feelings from our previous trip.  We had the boys and wanted them to have the opportunity to grow up overseas with the experience of being surrounded by people far less fortunate people than themselves.  For several years we researched many options with different agencies but nothing really seemed to fit with what we really felt we were meant to do.

It was about a year ago when Steve, our Church leader, went out to the Hands @ Work conference in South Africa, that we sent him a text to see if he could see a place for a Waspe family there.   He knew a lot about our passions from working closely and travelling with Dan.  He sent us a text back really excited saying that it would be perfect for us there.  

Hands @ Work are very holistic, it provides for peoples most basic needs – food, shelter and basic health care.  Most importantly for us it uses people who have the skills to train people within the community empowering them to look after their own people, rather than increasing their dependence on others.  It was this that excited us so much.  We had the chance to be involved with a charity that was about empowering people and giving them far longer lasting benefits than from us just being there.  Hands @ Work is also linked with the Forge so it will enable us to strengthen a longer-term partnership between the two.

We fly out to South Africa on 24th April 2009 having committed to spend two years with Hands @ Work on an entirely voluntary basis. When we first arrive we will participate in a 3 month orientation program, as part of that we may have the opportunity to spend a few weeks in another African country.  From there we will both probably help to coordinate the volunteers program, arranging for people to come and spend short and medium periods of time overseas.  Jen hopes to use her physio skills in the community areas. As yet there is no physio, so there are numerous things to get involved in. Dan hopes to be involved in youth work and some leadership areas; drawing on many of his skills he was able to develop whilst with the Forge.

As well as all this we still plan to share looking after the boys and also taking them with us in to the communities.  When we visited last year the boys had such an influence on many of the very sick people.  They were not afraid to reach out a hand, dance and sing.  Their child-like abandon brought joy into so many seemingly hopeless situations and we really want to encourage this in them, so that we can all fully share in this amazing experience.

 

To see more information on Hands @ Work and pictures of the area we will be staying in see www.handsatwork.org

How can you help?

Support us financially by filling out a form – either regular monthly payments or a one off gift.  We will not be receiving any wage while we are there so are dependent entirely on donations.  Find out more by going to the Support Us page.

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