About Helping Hands

Helping Hands was formed by a group of men and women, residents of the Klong Toey slum, with the support of UNOH (www.unoh.org) workers. The aim of the group is to try and help spark small micro-enterprise business throughout the community, assisting their neighbors to access markets and credit support.

It is a mentor-based program that uses existing skills of local people to guide and train them in establishing successful small businesses. There is a focus on helping address the issue of debt and money-lending that is rife in the community, and the helping hands team are committed to seeing people develop viable small businesses debt-free, and helping them to have quality of life. The aim is to help the poor help themselves by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. All of the team are local recipients of the project and we endeavor wherever possible to invite others once they have established their business to join in the leadership of the Helping Hands Project.

So far 10 small businesses have been established including: a Thai cooking school, a catering service, a mini-van hiring service, a coffee shop, a Thai dessert business and sushi service. For more information and bookings, please go to our website: http://www.handicrafts.org.au/helpinghands or e-mail: (click here to reveal e-mail)

Initially we were given a grant of $2000 Australian dollars from UNOH to start the Klong Toey Handicrafts project. The handicrafts which have been going since 2006 and employing 57 people, was then able to donate $2000 towards the start of the Helping Hands Cooking School in 2008. (As well as funding the set up of a small coffee shop.)

The Helping Hands Cooking School was expanded and then we were given a grant from ENTRUST for $8,000 for the purchase of a minivan. The repayments of the van along with a percentage of the profits from the cooking school have been used to establish the 9 other businesses. A percentage of the profits from each successful business are used to assist in further business development.

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