About the Open Hands Initiative
The Open Hands Initiative is a US-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving people-to-people understanding and international friendship through exchanges and other projects that focus on our basic shared values and common humanity.
The Open Hands Initiative is not an aid organization, nor is it an organization that aims to extol the virtues of US values. Those are one way streets. Rather, in all of our activities we seek to understand the communities in which we enter, and help them understand us.
We believe in “diplomacy” that is by and for ordinary people and that emphasizes dialogue and mutual respect. Therefore, our work takes place in the spheres of everyday life—health, culture, education, and recreation—and stresses that each and every country has much to teach and learn from one another.
We take what is best about our societies and share them. In so doing, we enrich each other, deepen our interdependence and respect, and build a reservoir of goodwill that can withstand even the most fundamental policy differences.
How the Initiative Was Started
The Open Hands Initiative was established in November 2009 by Jay T. Snyder, a prominent American businessman, philanthropist, and public servant. The Initiative grew out of U.S. President Barack Obama's famous pledge to extend open hands of friendship and dialogue to all people of the world. We take this pledge as our mission. Only through mutual understanding and open communication can trust and goodwill be established.