“No Poverty” is UN Sustainable Development Goal number 1. Hand in Hand shares this vision. The challenges are gigantic, and the issue affects us all regardless of where and how we live our lives. How can people provide for themselves and lift themselves out of poverty if they do not have a job that provides them with an income?
Our objective is to enable more marginalized persons to escape from the worst binds of poverty and be able to live in dignity. Our long-term goal is to improve 10 million persons’ opportunities to secure a livelihood.
Hand in Hand recognizes people’s ideas, competence, and motivation. We encounter people with a will and ambitions; however, they lack the tools to change their situation. For almost thirty years, we have worked hand in hand through training, supportive networks, and access to microfinance. We have contributed to helping people use their full potential and become successful, small-scale entrepreneurs. This is the route to strengthening both individuals and communities. This is how we fight poverty in the long term – not just for the moment.
In Sweden, we focus on raising funds, quality control, and developing our projects and programs, in cooperation with partner organisations. We work with our partner organisations to implement programs in the field. Each organisation is run independently and use their own local staff.
Hand in Hand was founded in the early 1990s by Olle and Gunnel Blomqvist, both teachers fighting to eradicate child labour in India. Children were forced to work to provide for their families as their parents rarely had jobs. Therefore, Olle and Gunnel focused on creating jobs for the parents through education and training, so that the children could attend school. We have evolved since then and today we work with comprehensive development programmes for entrepreneurship training, fighting against child labour, while also addressing issues relating to health, IT skills, democracy, and the environment.
In Sweden, there has often been a degree of skepticism in regards to the term charity. Terms such as development cooperation and aid have been preferred, as they are believed to signal solidarity and a more equal relationship. We are all part of the same world, but we have different life circumstances. By sharing our assets, the world becomes a better place for everyone.
Hand in Hand focuses on the effects of good deeds and asks ourselves: which problems can be solved and how can we do this in an effective and sustainable way. We have found our specific way of doing good deeds.
Where do our financial resources come from?
Our work is made possible through financial support from both private donors, companies, and organisations such as the Postcode Lottery, Läkarmissionen, Forum Syd, and Radiohjälpen.
How do we use these resources?
Hand in Hand Sweden together with the donor and the local partner organisations agree on how best to use the donations to make the greatest possible positive impact. Our core work addresses livelihood through entrepreneurship and micro-enterprises, while often combined with interventions to address the environment and climate, democracy and human rights, health, and education for children. Our training programmes have contributed to millions of persons running small and profitable businesses and by doing so improving their lives.
Svensk Insamlingskontroll and Giva Sweden
Hand in Hand Sweden follows Giva Sweden’s quality control guidelines. We regularly report on the impact of our work using Giva Sweden’s guidelines for measuring impacts. We have a “90 account”, a bank account number monitored by Svensk Insamlingskontroll, an organisation that monitors the correct use of charitable donations.