True story

Betty and her 12-year-old son Rinobert live together beside a rubbish heap in the Philippines. Each day, Betty scavenges through the rubbish. She finds pieces of plastic, cleans and dries them, and sells them for 25c per kilo. It is hardly enough to live on, so when she’s not scavenging, Betty also works at the nearby quarry to crush rocks and sell the gravel.  

 “At the end of the day, your body is so exhausted that you can’t stretch out at night,” says Betty. 

 Betty doesn’t want Rinobert to do this kind of work when he grows up, but she can’t afford good education and job training for him. She was excited when she heard she could enrol Rinobert in a school that offers free, high-quality education to kids like him. Crossroads sent goods to equip the school with almost everything they use, so they can help more families like Betty’s give their children hope for the future. 

Learn more about poverty

  • 736 million people live in extreme poverty worldwide.
  • People often stay in dirty, low-paid jobs because they are desperate.
  • Sickness and injuries from glass and needles are common for people working on rubbish dumps.
  • An estimated 15 million people live on rubbish dumps worldwide.
  • 50% of the world’s extreme poor live in just five countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. 
  • The world’s largest trash dump is the size of 20 soccer fields, with 7,000 rubbish trucks dumping into it each day. 
  • There’s no one simple way to solve global poverty. We all need to work together! Some powerful tools are job creation, training, educating children, and improving healthcare. 

How you can help

  • Sponsor a job creation shipment 
    • Many of Crossroads’ international shipments are helping break the poverty cycle in poor communities. You can raise money to sponsor a shipment that will give people a hand up out of poverty. 
  • Help Hong Kong people in poverty 
    • The Covid pandemic has increased poverty in Hong Kong. Help Crossroads help local people in need by raising money for our HK distribution or running a collection drive.  
  • Step into the shoes of the urban poor 
    • Our Struggle for Survival simulation helps you understand the complex decisions faced by people living in poverty. You can organise a school, work or family group to do the simulation together. 
  • Job creation and microloans 
    • Look up organisations that let you lend money to people in poverty to help them start or expand businesses.  
  • I have ideas of my own!
    • Got your own ideas? Gather some people around to help you, make a plan, and make it happen!

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