Darren and Minako Polischuk, founders of Work of Your Hand, worked under the umbrella of the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) in Japan. There they had the opportunity to travel to impoverished countries to distribute “giftboxes” to poor children. Their hearts were wrenched as they witnessed marginalization and injustice against those who could least protect themselves. They saw rickety houses with underdressed children, felt the oppressive heat, smelled the rotting garbage and heard story after story of poverty and destitution. People living in garbage dumps or grave sites; people living off meagre feeding programs were doing anything to survive, even undignified work. Children who started off picking garbage were being rented or sold to brothels by their own parents; the needs seemed overwhelming.
Each poor community did what they could to survive. Since no one would hire them, the poor became entrepreneurs and created crafts to try and support themselves. Some of the crafts were beautiful and the people very resourceful. So we thought, why not purchase these crafts and sell them in first-world nations, and reinvest the profits back into these needy communities? This thought became the impetus and in 2009 Work of Your Hand. Currently WYH helps support over 350 families to make a fair wage.
Previously, Darren worked in the Information Technology (IT) industry for 30 years as well as serving with Samaritan’s Purse in Calgary & Japan.
Minako has her B.Sc. in Computer Science and worked as a systems analyst for 9 years. In June 2003, she obtained her TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Diploma, and taught ESL classes at the Christian Academy in Japan for 4 years. She then graduated with a Master of Arts in Leadership Ministries from Ambrose University College in April 2009 and is now currently working towards her MBA.
The Polischuks currently live in Siem Reap, Cambodia working with Work of Your Hand amongst the poor to develop Vocational Transformation Communities.