“The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades – possibly a depression – with devastating consequences for its most vulnerable people,” wrote a UN report in 2020. Ukraine was already one of the poorest countries in Europe. Now the situation is unspeakably hard. Global Hand partner Mission Without Borders was excited when a donor in the UK offered a massive quantity of PPE through our network: 26,000 face masks, 1,500 coveralls, and hundreds of nurses’ hats and medical shoe covers. They took the two truckloads of PPE to their projects in Ukraine and Romania, including soup kitchens, schools, childcare centres and community medical centres. “They are desperate for PPE,” they said. “Our staff and the recipients were very happy to receive the much-needed equipment, especially since the pandemic restrictions and safety measures are continuing, and demand a large volume of PPE every day.”

Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

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COURAGE IN CAMEROON

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SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

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Benin: The multiplier effect in action

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“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where I can sleep with both eyes closed and be sure to get up alive.” – Emile, an 8-year-old child whose father was beheaded in Cameroon’s civil war.

The war in northwestern Cameroon has seen killings, kidnappings, villages burnt, and children recruited as soldiers. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being displaced. In some areas, schools have been shut down for more than four years. Crossroads has been shipping to help projects in Cameroon for more than a decade. Since the war has intensified, though, we have needed to change our shipments to help displaced and traumatized people.

” Materials collected from the shipment were used to set up a shelter and study space for children rendered homeless or affected by the crisis,” said staff from one Cameroon shipment. “The goods from Crossroads have completed the kitchen, library, computer room, gym and toys for children…This centre has been earmarked by UNESCO and other humanitarian organisations as a safe space and learning space for children in 2020. Thus, children in that conflict-affected now have access to a safe learning space.”

Huge boxes of first aid supplies from the shipment provided materials to reactivate their primary healthcare project. 30 community health workers were equipped with medical supplies and dispatched to unreached health districts to give medical aid. Hundreds of villagers in these remote areas have already benefitted from treatments ranging from wound care, malaria management, safe childbirth attendance to women’s health education.

Crossroads has continued to ship to Cameroon throughout the Covid pandemic. We stand with deeply courageous partners helping people not only affected by the health crisis but also displaced by the devastating conflict. One is little Emile, quoted here. We hope that now, at last, he can sleep ‘with both eyes closed’ knowing that he will ‘wake up alive’.

Goods from Crossroads’ shipment made a precarious journey by truck, boat and motorbike to help refugees sheltering in a remote border village.

 

 

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“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

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SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

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Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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Syria’s lost childhoods

For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family ties and lack of access to vital services caused by massive physical devastation,” says the UNHCR. Experts say these children live under the kind of toxic stress that changes their brains at the deepest level.

 

Crossroads sent two shipments to partners in Syria who work with children and their families to build relationships, offer counselling and meet material needs. As well as essentials for families living in camps and temporary homes, such as sleeping bags and warm clothing, we included a massive number of brand-new toys, given to us by Hasbro and other donors. We are always advised that it is essential for children traumatised by war to play so they can learn how to ‘be children’.

Photos of these toys being distributed speak loudly. Staff regularly visit children in their homes, some in temporary tents, some in basic concrete dwellings, and they were thrilled to be bringing gifts from the shipment this time. They told us, “The kids were overjoyed to have their first toy in their hands: something that was simply for them to keep. The parents were excited and deeply grateful because they could never afford to buy their children any.”

Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

read more ...

SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside

 

Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a young man in a remote village with a dream to open a community IT centre. His goal was for this to be a place where young people who’ve never touched a computer could access the Internet for the first time. [no new paragraph] He also wanted it to empower small business owners to print documents or use software they needed. The motivated Moise brought his dream to life, building a modest IT centre with a single computer. The outdated computer didn’t last long, though, and when it broke down, Moise was back to square one. He watched his some of his newly-won customers travel to another town to use services there. He watched others, who couldn’t afford to travel, simply lose their only access to the Internet because his computer was now useless.

“Young people now have access to the internet! Women who had nothing now have the equipment to start businesses.”

When we shipped goods to our partners in Benin, they used them as a capital investment for young people like Moise. They set Moise up again and are now walking with him in his small business goals. Moise said, “Thanks to this, the whole village now has access to the services of our centre. Young girls and boys are learning how to use computers!”

We’ve told Moise’s story to give a close-up picture. Zooming out, though, the entire shipment to Benin is itself a case-study of the multiplication effect we see when goods bring strategic change to communities in need.

  • 34 computers from Crossroads’ shipment equipped three new computer centres, now open for business. 90 youth have undertaken internships to learn business and IT support skills at these computer centres and 20 people have been employed by them. 11,700 customers at the three centres each month can now access technology for work, school, research and office services.
  • 20 refrigerators/freezers from Crossroads’ shipment supplied projects that train and employ young women in fruit juice production. Today, 300 women from poor backgrounds are employed through their programmes in juice production and sales, directly made possible by these refrigerators. In turn, their combined communities of 60,000 people have access to nutritious fruit juices, cakes and other food services offered by these enterprising women and their refrigerators.
  • 74kgs of fabric and other goods supplied to our partners’ tailoring training school have doubled their capacity, increasing enrolment from 60 students to 120.
  • Mattresses and bedding from the shipment quadrupled the capacity of their orphanage from 30 children to 120 children. 5,000 people from poverty-stricken homes were helped with brand new clothing and shoes. Bicycles were given to students who were previously walking many miles to school and at risk of dropping out. In total, the shipment included more than 11,000kg of donated goods, all telling stories of impact that go on and on.

The 2020-21 period was a challenging one for our international shipments, but we’re incredibly grateful for the volunteers, goods donors, shipping sponsors and financial donors who made it possible for us to ship where we could and continue that magical multiplying effect that poor communities need so desperately.

We often talk about the Crossroads equation, where donated items can multiply in the lives of many others. The Benin shipment is one more shipment that demonstrates it! That’s the reason we love this work, and your support of it!

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"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

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SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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It has been a tough journey for Mr Wong, living a simple life on his own in a quiet Hong Kong village. He was disabled by polio many years ago, leaving him in frequent pain and unable to move around easily. When his village was redeveloped, Mr Wong had to move into a small home with no electricity, cracked walls and very little furniture. He was reliant on volunteers and social workers to help renovate the home to a liveable standard and set it up with electricity.

It’s an ongoing difficulty now for Mr Wong to replace broken appliances or furniture. A social worker therefore referred him to Crossroads to help lift the burden he shoulders. In the past, we have helped him with such electrical goods as a washing machine, which has served him well for 8 years.

Despite his challenges, smiles come easily to Mr Wong’s face, and when our staff visited him, along with a social worker, he was excited to show hospitality and to say how thankful he was for the care. He pointed out items in his home, such as his microwave, which came from one of our recent consignments. He has even gone so far as to send hand-written thank you notes to charities who have given him assistance.

Mr Wong is just one of the nearly 2,000 individuals in Hong Kong who were referred to Crossroads through NGOs and Social Welfare Departments in 2020-21. What a privilege to walk with people in our own neighbourhood, who are truly living at the grassroots: those who, like Mr Wong, find ways to be thankful and positive despite great hardship.

Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

read more ...

SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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Feedback: 

More than half of the population of Tanzania is still living in poverty and those in rural districts are far more affected than those in urban areas.

Crossroads shipped to NGO partners who have spent the last 16 years working towards improving the economic, educational and health situation in some of Tanzania’s most disadvantaged and marginalised areas.

“These goods – shoes, exercise books, masks, books – have encouraged families to bring their children back to school.”

NGO staff

Goods from Crossroads’ shipment had a significant impact on their work, making a capital investment in the schools and health centres they work with, including:

  • Computers from the shipment have made it possible to open a new IT centre for youth. 15 young people from the community have already started a computer training course, equipping them for far better employment in the future.
  • More computers have improved NGO offices, so that instead of multiple staff sharing a computer, each staff member now has their own computer, allowing them to work more effectively.
  • School furniture has replaced poor-quality wooden chairs and desks in community schools with high quality, longer-lasting, safe furniture.
  • Hospitals benefited from the medical supplies like thermometers and face masks, in high demand because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 532 students received stationery, face masks, and clothes. These goods have encouraged families to bring their children back to school.
  • Items such as chairs, tables, televisions, a projector and a PA system saved them more than $US10,500 to equip their new youth centre.

We’re hugely grateful to all who made this shipment possible! See overleaf for more photos of the impact these goods have made on the lives of people in need in Tanzania.

Above and below: Students benefited from stationery, masks, and clothes from the shipment. These goods have made a direct impact on enrolment, with better facilities encouraging parents to send their children back to school.


 

Crossroads’ partners distributed medical equipment from the shipment, such as thermometers, hospital beds and medical scrubs to local hospitals.


 

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Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

read more ...

SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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Feedback:

Zambia has faced an unsteady economy in recent years, and it’s particularly impacting the nation’s rural areas. The current COVID-19 pandemic has put an extra strain on rural communities as there is often limited access to facemasks, hand sanitiser and other equipment to slow the spread of infection.

Our partners are dedicated towards empowering communities to develop and grow through various educational and health projects. We sent out a shipment of medical supplies, office, and school furniture, bedding, and clothing to assist them to boost their and improve their projects.

“Because of the shipment, we were able to establish an adult literacy centre.”

NGO staff

Goods from the shipment are making a significant impact on the community in both immediate and long-term projects:

  • The school furniture helped establish an adult literacy centre in their community targeting over 250 adults with no or little school experience.
  • 2000 people benefitted from Covid-19 preventive supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizers.
  • More than 150 orphans and vulnerable children received new warm clothing.
  • School supplies, furniture, projector screens, and writing boards equipped their community school that had no furniture. Over 200 students now have access to much better school furniture and books.

We’re very grateful to all who made this shipment possible, allowing our partners to invest in their local community to improve the lives of thousands of people.


Our partners were grateful for supplies to fight the spread of Covid-19, including face masks and sanitizers to help more than 2,000 people.


Above: More than 150 orphans and vulnerable children received warm clothes and toys from the shipment.


Thanks to school furniture, books and more from the shipment, a school that formerly had no furniture in the classrooms and few resources, is now far better equipped. Over 200 students now have access to much better school furniture and books.

School furniture has helped our partners open an adult literacy programme for adults who were given very little formal education.


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Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

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SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

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Benin: The multiplier effect in action

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Malawi, a landlocked nation in south-eastern Africa, is one of the world’s least developed countries. A largely agricultural country, Malawi is still recovering from the effects of drought in 2015 and 2016 and is making efforts to overcome decades of underdevelopment, and the impact of HIV/Aids, which still claims the lives of tens of thousands every year.

Crossroads’ partners on this shipment are, through education and vocational training, empowering marginalized women and youth from rural communities. Through programmes aimed at agricultural training, education support and helping survivors of child marriage, among other projects, our partners have directly helped over 9,300 women and youth so far.

Items that we hope to include in this shipment include computers, school desks, chairs, and books. The goods will help our partners to better equip the schools and training centres where they run their programmes.  In addition to these goods, we hope to include items to meet the most basic needs of the people in these communities including clothing, bedding, mattresses and household goods.


S’s story

S lives in one of the rural communities that our partner serves. She became pregnant at 15 and couldn’t continue her secondary education. When the father of her child left, she had no income and found it hard to find even the necessities to provide for her and her child.  She was introduced to our partners and began a tailoring and designing training programme. S has now completed the course and through the sale of clothing she makes, she is able to provide for her family. S has gone on to train other women in the community, providing them with the opportunity to become self reliant and empower other women in the community to do the same.

Goods from this shipment will help our partners to expand their programmes and enable more women like S to create an income for themselves and aid in their community’s development.


T’s Story

T is 15 years old and, despite laws preventing child marriage, T was married at a young age. In an effort to eradicate child marriage our partner NGO and their affiliates arrange meetings in the community to educated community leaders and parents on the dangers of child marriage.

T attended one of these meetings and was empowered to lead a demonstration to enforce the laws that protect children like her. T has now left the marriage and is back in secondary school preparing for her exams.

 

 

 

 


(Above) Orphans in the area are cared for by elderly people at local community childcare centers. Goods from this shipment will help our partners to continue to run theses centers and serve their communities’ children in need.

(Above) Orphaned children sleep on floors without mattresses at their school. Our partner NGO said, “One of our main goals is to contribute to the improvement of education standards for children and youth and to enable them to gain skills that will maximize their potential”. To achieve this goal our partners need goods from this shipment, like mattresses, bedding and school furniture so that the children can live and learn in a suitable environment.


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Malawi snapshot

Population: 18 million

Capital: Lilongwe

Language: English, Chichewa

Landlocked Malawi is sometimes called the ‘warm heart of Africa’, for its culture of hospitality, however, the nation ranks among the world’s least developed countries.

Malawi’s economic performance has historically been constrained complex factors including poor infrastructure, high population growth, and poor health and education outcomes that limit labor productivity.

The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas.

Source: BBC Country Profile/CIA World Factbook

Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

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“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

read more ...

SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Since Madagascar gained independence from France in 1960 it has battled decades of political instability. Despite being rich in natural resources, Madagascar remains one of the worlds poorest nations with 75% living in poverty (World Bank). The nation’s reliance on its natural resources has also seen it face environmental issues such as deforestation and overhunting.

Almost 70% of the population is under the age of 25, compared with the worldwide average of 25%. For Madagascar, having such a young population means that for the country to grow, services which benefit youth are vital.

With that in mind, our partner NGO runs programs focussed on education, women’s empowerment, and healthcare to build up community youth to be stronger in skills and employment opportunities. Along with these, our partners also provide programmes like food and clothing distribution, vocational training, and English language training to those who need them most.

This shipment will help our partners to continue and expand their projects. Goods that we hope to send include computer equipment, school and office furniture, household goods, clothing, educational books, and school supplies.


Steve’s story

Steve is currently studying law in the hopes of becoming a judge. He says that his vision is for everyone in Madagascar to have access to a fair and non-corrupt judicial system. He entered an English speech contest that our partner NGO runs and was eventually chosen as the winner. Steve says, “I wanted to take part to develop my skills as a leader and to share my vision of the world with my peers. After winning, I am now able to inspire hundreds of young people with my vision of integrity.

This shipment will help our partners administer programmes that empower and envision young people like Steve to become the next generation of community leaders.


Maxetine’s Story

Maxetine lives on her family’s small plot of land with her parents. Despite their low income, Maxetine was able to complete her primary and secondary education by helping her mother sell crops in the nearby town.

After secondary school though, Maxetine’s family could no longer afford her education and she had to find work as a maid; forced to abandon her dream of training as a midwife.

Maxetine came to hear about our partners’ ‘Girls Skills Development’ project, and they agreed to sponsor her so that she could continue her midwifery training.

Goods from this shipment will help our partners to expand these programmes and help more at-risk youth to reach their goals.


Young women attend a session run by our partners called ‘Dignity of Women’, a sewing training project to make washable sanitary napkins and educate young women on menstruation and hygiene.

Our partners run a construction project which aims to renovate schools in the area, such as this one. Goods from this shipment will help equip projects like these.


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Capital: Antananarivo

Population: 26.97 million

Situated off the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Having developed in isolation, the island nation is renowned for its unique wildlife.

Traditionally, the Malagasy economy has been based on the cultivation of rice, coffee, vanilla and cloves.

Despite a wealth of natural resources and a tourism industry driven by its unique environment, the country remains one of the world’s poorest, and is heavily dependent on foreign aid.

Source: BBC, World Bank

Truckloads of protective equipment for Ukraine and Romania

"The Covid-19 pandemic is pushing Ukraine towards its worst recession in decades - possibly a depression - with devastating consequences for...

read more ...

COURAGE IN CAMEROON

“I am tired of listening to gun shots and seeing lifeless bodies here and there. I just want to go where...

read more ...

SYRIA’S LOST CHILDHOODS

Syria's lost childhoods For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family...

read more ...

Benin: The multiplier effect in action

Benin: The multiplier effect in action outside   Outside Benin’s bustling major cities, opportunity can be hard to come by. Take Moise, a...

read more ...