Hands Across the Nations began with the vision and passion of Greg and Donnalea Madeley. They saw the reality of impoverished and forgotten communities in the developing world and were motivated to help these communities become healthy and sustainable. Their vision, inspired by the great humanitarian example of Christ, was to impact both the lives of those living in these developing communities and the lives of the volunteers.
In 1988, Greg first traveled to Bolivia, South America as a youth team leader. It was here that his eyes were opened to the needs of the developing world. In 1990, Greg encountered Mali, West Africa. Further motivated by his experiences, he returned to Canada and, along with Donnalea, developed the platform for their organization.
In 1993, Hands Across the Nations was born.
Since then, Hands Across the Nations has worked in partnership with the leaders of the village of Mana in Mali, and of Cochabamba in Bolivia. Through repeat visits and ongoing communication with both project locations, Hands Across the Nations has established a relationship of trust. This relationship is the cornerstone of building a sustainable solution for the essential health, education and safe water needs of these communities.
While Greg has worked with incredible determination to build relationships with these communities, Donnalea has provided her own invaluable support through her connection to Royal Carribean International (RCI). As Godmother of RCI’s Liberty of the Seas, Donnalea has advanced awareness of HATN’s work, and provided continuing financial support through the cruise line.
The determination and faith of Greg, Donnalea and a small group of volunteers has seen Hands Across the Nations grow from an idea to a Registered Canadian Charity which has made significant contributions to the communities it serves. Together, they have built Hands Across the Nations to what it is today – a grass roots organization that is striving to affect social change in some of the world’s poorest areas, one community at a time.