2017: Youth Uplift Challenge

Youth Empowerment

295,484 hands generated $400,000 for youth empowerment.

September 2016 - May 2017

Over 115,000 students in 28 countries made 290,000+ hands for the Youth Uplift Challenge. For every hand you made and sent in, the Bezos Family Foundation donated $1.90—up to $500,000—to Save the Children’s programs empowering youth in Nicaragua and Indonesia to rise into a life they dream for themselves.

Challenge Overview

Hands to Uplift Youth

We learned we can lend a helping hand to people all across the world. By creating hands, students across the world raised $500,000 to help people living in poverty in Nicaragua and Indonesia. Programs helped provide job training, community building, and educational programs to young people in need.

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By the Numbers

Through this challenge young people created 290,000 hands sent to us in 500 packages. This challenge welcomed 115,000 students from 28 countries across the world who created hands to support young people.


Challenge Impact

Because of the creative action of youth, we were able to provide 2,000 people with job training, create 20 new and supportive youth community groups, and we trained 40 teachers to provide financial literacy education.

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What Happened with the Hand Art?

L.A.-based artist Teachr created a unique art piece and mural using hands for a special event; Youth Uplift L.A. Many other art pieces were made by youth across the world using hands from the Youth Uplift Challenge.

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295,484 handmade hands from 28 countries

We teamed up with L.A.-based street artist Teachr to host a creative community event that celebrated the Challenge. Teachr created custom art panels inspired by your paper hands that were on display at the Pico Youth Center in Santa Monica. During the celebration, community youth used their creativity to make street art in Teachr's stencil making class and movement in an improv class. The day continued with an all-female panel on "I Wish I Knew Then" about valuable career advice. Our youth-focused day concluded with a Q&A panel with local industry music professionals on ‘Art to Action.’ See what happened when we asked students to show the world who they are.
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A beautiful hand drawn at Hancock High School.

“We pooled money for a sawmill and a hut to house the grinder,” Martha says. “And we’ve recovered that initial investment!”

Teachr, an artist based in Los Angeles, CA, created this art piece inspired by hands made during the Youth Uplift Challenge.

The Youth Uplift Challenge team at JFK HS rallying their school to create hands.

Youths participate in the My Hand campaign at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA.

Teacher leading youth through an art workshop at the Pico Youth Center in Santa Monica, CA.

Hands by the Youth Uplift Challenge team at California State University.

Signs from the hand-making station at Northern Hunterdon.

Hands created during the Youth Uplift Challenge

Where we came from

Hands across borders

Here are the places our Youth Uplift teams call home. Click through the map to learn more about each team.
Your Team

Youth Uplift Challenge Teaching Materials

The challenge is over, but you can still make a difference.

Teaching materials from the Youth Uplift Challenge are available for free download at any time!
Find curricula, videos, and more resources from all Challenges in our resource library.