Helping Hands are going around the world. Shivkumar is a young boy from the Phillipines who lost his hand after being electrocuted while flying his kite. Emine Yuzay, a Turkish woman born without arms, would watch as her nine brothers and sisters were allowed to go to school. She would yearn for an education she was not allowed to pursue. Mutham, from the Philippines, lost his right arm in a landmine explosion while serving in the military in 1972. Each is a tragic story in a never ending procession with still more to come.
Helping Hands works for everyone involved.
There has been some 110 million landmines spread throughout the world since 1941. There are still many active today after their respective countries cease-fires. The primary victims are civilian women and children.
250,000 amputees are registered worldwide with the United Nations. Tens of thousands of these people live with limited mobility, discrimination, and in some cases shame. Helping Hands is a program that has become the difference between amputees living a life in hiding and being productive members of society.
Helping Hands provides prosthetic hands to amputees at no cost to them while encouraging the corporate team building process through the hand’s assembly. At a minimal cost the hand is used in a large corporate team building meeting and then donated. Participants in Helping Hands team building exercises tie one hand behind their backs. Then working in teams they must assemble the hand. Emphasis is placed on collaboration, communication, purpose-driven work, and customer mindfulness through volunteering.
Once assembled, the Helping Hands are delivered to qualified applicants. After an application process, the arm is then measured to make sure it is of adequate length. The recipient is then taught how to attach the prosthetic hand and shown how it functions. The design is very simple with three fixed fingers and two ratcheting fingers that are released at the touch of a button.
Helping hands recipients must have 14mm of a limb.
When asked what they miss most about life before their tragedy many amputees say just being normal. They are unable to be as productive as they know they can. Helping Hands is helping many of these people to find that sense of pride once again.
Shivkumar no longer missed flying kites, but he did miss being able to write. “Love” was the first word he wrote only seconds after being fitted and shown how to hold the pen. Emine now gets to attend school as she can hold the books, papers, and write out her homework. Mutham says he “feels like a whole person again.” He is now feeding himself and brushing his own hair in the morning.
Many others are happy to be able to provide for their families by hoeing in the garden, or cleaning around the house. Over 17,000 helping Hands have been distributed in over 75 different countries including China, South Africa, Bolivia, Afghanistan, and Egypt.
Helping Hands starts by changing lives inside the corporate team building exercises. Then finishes by completing the life of someone in need.