He had to be one of the least likely candidates in London’s 2012 Paralympics.

In 2010, Haiti’s massive earthquake had robbed Leon of his wife, eight children, home and mobility. Our Global Hand UK director, Ben Solanky, met him, soon after, while visiting the devastated area to follow up on a Crossroads medical support shipment.

Starting new life, as a paraplegic, was tough. As one observer put it, “If you are handicapped, you are a nobody in Haiti.”  In response, the hospital caring for Leon came up with a bold idea. What if Leon could be trained for the London Paralympics? Might he become a hero of hope, a champion for those with disabilities?

It was, clearly, a dream. The resources needed were massive and Haiti, already a struggling economy, was stretched to capacity by the earthquake damage. The hospital team rated their chances of success at 1%.

Undaunted, though, the group called their project ‘The Dream’ and looked for partners. Ben’s team responded. It seemed a good fit given for Global Hand: given our stated goal of being ‘the partnership people’, those who bring together partners to make a difference.  Ben and his UK team joined The Dream and brought together a range of parties. Companies included the international legal firm Hogan-Lovells and Virgin Unite. Committed individuals included a UK based family who had lost a son, a UN worker, to the earthquake.

Leon received the care, the training and the massive international support to qualify. One week before the Olympics, he heard he would be going.

Thomas Williams Photography

As Leon finished his hand cycle race, seventh on the international stage, he told The Times: “If my family were here they would be proud of me. I raced this for them.”

Ben Solanky concludes, “We believe partnerships are powerful. Seeing The Dream achieved was a wonderful illustration of this principle.” Global Hand is all about bringing strategic partnerships together to change lives.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

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Life’s brighter for Hong Kong’s visually impaired kids, thanks to the rich education they can access  at Ebenezer School for the Visually Impaired. Crossroads was delighted to partner with the school and to bring a smile to scores of little faces, by donating toys for their 2012 Christmas party.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

One of the tenets of our fair trade principles is care for the environment. In our cafe and marketplace, we sell goods that are eco friendly as well as powerful in generating income for people in need.

The creativity of our producers leaves us in awe as they recycle and upcycle.

• In Uganda, for example, victims of the war years were strapped for materials to generate income. They roll, colour and varnish newspaper to produce jewellery so elegant none of our shoppers can guess the source material.

• In Mongolia and Myanmar, artisans upcycle glass shard to produce Christmas ornaments.

• In Cambodia, in the hands of craftsmen, rice sacks turn into funky bags, large and small.

• In India, saries are upcycled to provide decorative features on hessian bags.

• In Vietnam, crisp wrappers turn into tableware

Many of those farmers and suppliers also focus on organic products: tea, coffee, jams, cocoa, chocolates and spices.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

SHOP

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

The United Nations’ Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, tells a poignant story of his childhood. “I grew up in a society ravaged by war and mired in poverty. Schools had been destroyed. My classes were held in the open under a tree. We had no desks, chairs or other basic necessities. The Republic of Korea was on its knees, but education enabled the country to stand tall again.”

“Even in the worst circumstances, education helps to give children confidence to face the future… I want every child, without exception, to have the same opportunity that I had. The power of education to transform lives is universal.”

In 2012, Ban Ki-moon called together a coalition of UN personnel, NGOs, politicians and corporations to fight together for the educational needs of the planet. The UN approached our Global Hand team, asking if we could  support this by tailoring the software we developed for business.un.org so that all these groups could make formally commit to seeing education reach children around the world.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

The Chan sisters know they have to stick together. The three young women have been ‘mothers’ to each other since 2002, when as children, they suffered traumatic domestic abuse and were sent into residential care. Living away from their natural parents, they learned independence earlier than most children, and when the older Chan sisters grew to adulthood, they were allocated their own public housing unit to attempt to leave their painful past behind and start a life of their own.

With such a difficult start to life, though, the Chan sisters didn’t have enough money to purchase basic furniture to fit out the house. They visited Crossroads and were able to select what they needed, from chairs to appliances, to small household items, grateful and relieved that this part of their burden, at least, was lifted.

In 2012, Crossroads impacted 13,716 people in need within Hong Kong: people like the Chans, who come to us referred by the Social Welfare Department. We are deeply grateful for this partnership and the opportunity to serve Hong Kong families and individuals at some of their most desperate times.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...