The Helping Hands programme is a unique combination of a team building activity and charity work. In small teams of around four people, the participants assemble real prosthetic hands for landmine victims.
These prosthetic hands are donated to landmine victims in developing countries. A simple and robust mechanism allows them to pick up and carry objects and even to write – thereby enabling them to reintegrate into “normal life” and to live much more independently than they otherwise could without the artificial limb.
By doing the Helping Hands event the participants experience an intensive team building experience, and are also given the opportunity to significantly improve somebody’s quality of life as well.
The course of the event
At the beginning of the event, a surprise awaits: no one knows what is planned. Team building is on the programme. On the tables, the participants find neutral-looking paper bags with the indication that these should not be opened without explicit request.
As part of a projector-based presentation, our project manager then unravels the puzzle: the task is to build real prosthetic hands in small teams of four people, which are then donated to landmine victims.
Each team receives a kit with manufacturing instructions. Each participant also uses a special glove for his/her dominant hand (left-handed or right-handed), which deprives them of the ability of gripping. Thus, a close cooperation between the team members is necessary during assembly, the participants experience how restrictive a disability is and can better understand how valuable a prosthetic hand is for the person for whom it is being made.
During the assembly, our project manager serves as a help desk and will be available to answer any questions participants may have.
After successful assembly, each team individually designs the case in which the hand prosthesis is later handed over to the recipient. We also take a photo of the team with the case, which we attach to the prosthesis, so that the recipient is able to see who made the prosthesis for them.
- starting at 99 Euros per person (net); this applies to groups of 32 people or more
- price for groups of less than 32 people on request
- The German VAT rate is currently 19 %.
- Costs for food and beverages are not included in the above-mentioned prices.
A kit costs 250 Euros (these costs are included in the above mentioned price). This covers not only the production costs and the further development of hand prostheses by the LN4 Foundation, but also the logistics costs, in particular national and international freight costs, as well as the organisational activities of Odyssey Teams Incorporated.
We charge a supplement for our organisational effort and for personnel expenses and therefore ask for the above mentioned price of 99 Euros per person.
- flexible, adaptable to your agenda
- usually 2 to 2.5 hours of activity (including introduction)
- also suitable for (very) large groups
- flexible locations: the activity can take place indoors or outdoors on tables; we recommend one table per team of four people or a larger table for two teams to share
- we’ll gladly come to the location of your choice (for example your conference hotel) or suggest a suitable restaurant or other location
- We are happy to come to the place of your choice, Germany-wide.
Background: Landmine victims
In 1997, 122 countries decided to abandon the use of anti-personnel landmines. Since then, the number of victims has fallen significantly. However, millions of landmines still exist in current and former crisis areas. More than 60 countries are affected, particularly Afghanistan, Angola, Syria, Ukraine, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Estimates suggest that at least 500,000 people have lost limbs or their eyesight due to landmines and are in need of life-long support. However, this is a support that they often do not receive, because of the lack of health and social systems as we know them.
The LN4 Foundation was founded by Ernie and Mari Meadows in memory of their daughter Ellen Meadows, who suffered a fatal accident at the age of 18.
The purpose of the foundation is to produce a hand prosthesis that is simple and robust to use, in addition to being maintenance-free, making it suitable for use in developing countries. This prosthesis will be free, meaning a direct donation to the recipients, often victims of landmines, who cannot afford costly prostheses.
The prostheses change the lives of those affected sustainably and grant them a much more independent life. Compared to cash, food and many other donations in kind, it is certain that these prosthetic hands will genuinely benefit those affected, and that no black market is created.
To date, more than 30,000 hand prostheses have been assembled within the framework of team events. Starting from the USA, where the idea arose, the concept spread to other countries including Australia, New Zealand, England, and now Germany, where the first events were held in autumn 2016.
Who is involved - the logistics chain
As part of the implementation of the Helping Hands team building idea, non-profit as well as profit-oriented private-sector organisations work together. To be more precise, the logistics chain looks like this:
- The Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation (LN4 Foundation), a non-profit organisation based in California, has developed and manufactures the above mentioned hand prostheses.
- Odyssey Teams Incorporated, an event agency based in California, has developed the concept of team building as a charity event, hosts events and organises shipments of kits to partner agencies worldwide.
- Partner agencies conduct charity team events for their clients on-site. Berliner Teamevents is one of the partner agencies.
- Following the event, the hand prostheses are returned to Odyssey Teams Incorporated, which performs a quality review and forwards them to the LN4 Foundation for distribution.
- The LN4 Foundation has traditionally worked with Rotary International, which distributes most of the prostheses locally on a voluntary basis. In addition to the Rotarians, other volunteers, so-called Ambassadors, carry out the local distribution at their own expense. These volunteers do not only cover their own travel expenses, but also all costs associated with local distribution.