Suggested time frame: 2.5 hours (based on an 8-12 member team)


As the team leader you may want to begin the session by introducing yourself and your history with Hands at Work. Then move on to learning about your fellow team members. Along with the basic introductory questions (name, age, family structure …) you may want to ask these:

How did you hear about Hands at Work in Africa?
Why did you decide to come on a team?

Remember, this is a new experience for most; encourage them to share what they would like to but do not push for too much detail if you sense some team members are shy or hesitant at this first session.


Hands at Work is a Christian non-profit organisation working in vulnerable communities across sub-Saharan Africa where HIV/AIDS, poverty and numbers of orphans are highest and support structures are very low. We help the local church in those communities to effectively care for the orphaned and vulnerable. Our ministry is to all those in need, regardless of race, class or religion.

We identify local Christian leaders within vulnerable communities who are already demonstrating a passion to serve the poor and broken in their community and to fulfil the biblical mandate to care for the orphaned and vulnerable. We support those leaders in developing a locally-owned organisation in their community and begin a long-term relationship of service and partnership, where we continually work to increase the community's capacity to provide care in an effective and holistic manner.

Watch or Download Hands at Work in Africa's Introduction Video

It all started when two simple, white, middle-class South Africans found freedom in powerful servanthood and unconditional love. Read the story of Carolyn and George Snyman, founders of Hands at Work Africa in Africa.


Want to know more about our community? 

At Hands at Work, our volunteers and African Leaders live together in a multi-cultural Christian community. At the Hub in South Africa and Kachele in Zambia, we live and serve together, following the call of Jesus to live in community and follow him not as individuals, but as the Body of Christ. We are different ages, cultures and personalities. We have very different testimonies of our walks with Christ, but we all feel called to serve the most vulnerable here in Africa.


Read More About our Community of Faith


At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Each of us has a unique story of how we were transformed when we stepped out in faith and were obedient to His call.

Read more about our Family of Volunteers

3) Building Capacity

We believe strongly in discipleship. Our model of care is based on each layer building capacity into the next layer. It all starts with local community ownership. Which means we are empowering our communities to care for their own people. These are the ways that our model becomes sustainable.

We believe in working in some of the most impoverished and broken communities in the world.  Communities who have no voice for themselves and no support. We would say these communities do not even have their foot on the ladder. And even within those communities we believe in seeking out and supporting the most vulnerable children. Building capacity into people is not easy. We have many hurdles to overcome such as our cultures, education levels, etc. Despite these challenges we believe that empowering and challenging others to grow is the only way for these children to be cared for well. As Hands at Work we consider ourselves scaffolding, which means we are a temporary support structure for each community. The end goal is to see communities that are self-sufficient and able to function without our support. 

4) Planning + Preparation

Review the Planning and Preparation and In the Community sections as a team. Let your International Office know if you have any questions.


Close your session with prayer; encourage team members to participate.

Hand out THE CHURCH: Answering the Cry of God’s Heart booklet and read the Country Overview which you can get from your International Office.

This first session is designed to help you and your team gain a better understanding of the History, Heart and Vision of Hands at Work in Africa.