Honest Hands is a nine month discipleship program for up to 10 young men ages 15 – 20. These young men come from difficult life situations such as living on the street, growing up in slums or are troubled out-of-school youth. These life situations all too often breed (result in) detrimental experiences that leave lasting scars and effects that requires focused attention & counselling. The guys are referred from churches and organizations that act as a “first step” program for them. All recipients have made a commitment to follow Christ and desire to go deeper in their faith. Recipients stay at the Honest Hands from Monday to Friday, and return home to their church or organization in order for them to stay connected to “the real world,” and also for them to live out what they have learned throughout the week. After the program it is the responsibility of the church or organization to continue to care for the individual. However, the staff of Honest Hands keep in contact and encourages each participant through communication with the individual and the point of contact in the church or organization, and also through reunions where all participants from different batches are invited for a day of hanging out with each other. The participants are also given assistance in furthering education, attending Bible school or applying for ACTION International’s, Working Hands technical training school.
The main focuses of Honest Hands are:
- Discipleship – developing a strong rooting in the Bible and what it means to follow and live for Christ is foundational to the program. Our hope is that this does not stop after with the individual or after the nine month program. We want these young men to be equipped for life long growth, and for them to be a disciple maker themselves.
- Mentoring – having male Christian role models is such an important aspect of Honest Hands and key to the development and growth of the individual. This is an area that is often absent from the lives of these youth, but is vital to character growth for the individual.
- Education – many participants have not completed their elementary school education and none have a high-school education. The staff at Honest Hands work hard to make sure that each individual has the opportunity to gain basic education skills and is able to continue their education after the program. Honest Hands uses the government accredited Alternative Learning System as teaching curriculum and as a means for the participants to write an elementary or high-school equivalency test.
- Basic Life Skills Training – picture yourself growing up on the street or with a group of gang members away from any adult to teach you basic life skills and how to be responsible. This is the situation for many of these young men and why it is such an important part of the program. During their time at Honest Hands, individuals will learn basic hygiene, receive health teaching that can also be used in their home, church and community, how to live responsibly, follow a schedule, complete assigned tasks and chores on time, and basic life skills such as cooking, cleaning and general property maintenance.
- Connection to Local Church – Honest Hands is not a stand-alone program, but views itself as a partnership with the local church. Each individual is required to attend their home church every Sunday, and have their pastor or contact within the organization inform the Honest Hands staff that they did so. Future discipleship, mentoring, and character growth is dependent on the individuals involvement in their home church. This is where they will also have the opportunity to find their leadership potential, and teach others. That is why we see great value in a close partnership with the local church.
- Wellness for the Individual – the Honest Hands program focuses on all areas of life. counselling from an accredited social worker; physical activity; healthy eating; medical, dental and vision check-ups
Honest Hands is located near Silang, Cavite in the Philippines and is part of ACTION’s Second Mile ministry campus, based in a rural coffee growing region, about two hours from Metro Manila and the National Capital Region. Honest Hands can house up to ten former street boys and school dropouts, as well as two staff members. We host discipleship camps for up to twenty young men per year, and then we select ten young men from the camps to attend the nine-month intensive discipleship & tutorial program.
We work hand in hand with Filipino churches and para-church organizations. Pastors or Christian workers refer the students to us.