WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

“We want to empower communities to become self-sustaining,” write Crossroads’ partners in Tanzania. It’s a challenge in rural areas where people are so dependent on agriculture that changes in climate or a poor harvest can devastate entire families’ livelihoods.

The most vulnerable in these communities are children and young people living on the streets, or without family support. Our partners have a network of children’s centres and training programmes for these groups of children and youth, knowing that without education and a place to live, there would be no hope of escaping the poverty cycle. “Most of these children were abandoned because they happened to be children of single parents, or victims of diseases like HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, or typhoid.”

We are shipping goods to support their work, including textbooks and stationery for school students, appliances and household goods for children’s homes and offices, clothing, bedding, blankets for vulnerable children and youth, and goods like fabric for their tailoring training programmes.


‘Orphans’ aren’t always those who’ve lost both parents. Many children in children’s homes or in-home care in our partners’ communities, like Doris (right) and Juma (left) have people to care for them, but their relatives are themselves so impoverished that they need extra support from our partners for basics like food, clothing and school fees. Goods from this shipment will support some of those needs.


BUILDING ON PAST INVESTMENTS

Crossroads shipped to these partners some years ago, sending educational goods, clothing and furniture. Staff wrote of the impact that the shipment made. School books helped raise the grades of primary and secondary students (above), while preschool children now have comfortable furniture to use while learning. Children in their network of children’s centres were grateful for clothing and shoes to help relieve the burden of affording these basic essentials themselves.

The needs are growing, though. Our partners are expanding their services and building new buildings that are waiting to be filled with furniture and equipment. Not only are they opening new children’s homes, but they are seeking to give in-home support and care to more children who do have relatives to live with, but who are financially strained. Goods from this shipment will support education and training for these and other vulnerable children.


The harbour at Dar Es Salaam, home to a busy trade port, is helping a rapidly growing economy, but those in rural areas, particularly orphans and vulnerable children like Felicia (below), and people living with diseases or disabilities, can be left behind.


WANT TO BE PART OF THESE LIFE CHANGING STORIES?

Sponsor a container: We need HK$ 50,000 to send any of our waiting shipments on their way. Email us for a list of projects needing funds: partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Give goods: We can help your company or group find projects that need your quality superseded goods. Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Volunteer: We need regular volunteers in a huge variety of roles across the work, from manual labor to administration and specific skilled roles. Email volunteer@crossroads.org.hk

Reference No : S1864C
Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Ethiopia Snapshot

Population: 57.3 million.
Capital: Dodoma
Largest City: Dar es Salaam
Main languages: Swahili (official) and English, and more than 100 local languages.

“Tanzania is in transition,” says a recent UN report. “East Africa’s second biggest economy is growing rapidly. Its population could approximately double to 100 million by 2050 with an unprecedented shift of people from the countryside to the city. With its population set to grow by one million a year, demand for housing, water, sanitation and healthcare is climbing steadily.” About 80% of the population still relies on agriculture to survive, and one in four people are living below the poverty line.

Source: UNDP

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

At the end of last century, Ethiopia faced a catastrophic famine that caught the world’s attention and caused the death of millions. Today, despite relative stability and a fast-growing economy, nearly a quarter of the nation is still living in poverty. The 2016 Horn of Africa drought and floods showed that the rural population is still highly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters.

We are shipping to a college in Ethiopia with a special focus on leadership training, aiming to be part of the positive growth and development of the nation. Their heartfelt goal is to produce graduates ‘passionately committed to transforming their society.’

When Crossroads first shipped to these partners in 2006, their college was occupying rented quarters, waiting for help to move into a permanent site in 2007. Our goods helped furnish their new facility, helping educate hundreds of students. “That shipment enabled us to set up a computer lab, and to furnish several classrooms with hundreds of chairs and classroom desks. The shipment allowed us to equip the men’s dormitory with chairs and the whole operations of the college used materials to facilitate learning.”

Now, once again, they’re expanding and they have asked for our help. This time, they’ve built a women’s dormitory large enough to accommodate 258 students, as well as a new kitchen and dining facility, but they’re waiting for furniture and equipment to bring these spaces to life and make them fully functioning.


SUSTAINABILITY INNOVATIONS

Operating in one of Africa’s poorest nations has meant our partners have to seek creative solutions for their college to stay sustainable, like this poultry project, as well as raising their own cattle and farming crops.

Goods from this shipment will help administer projects that continue to help their sustainability.


EDUCATED FOR PEACEMAKING

When fighting erupted in Amanuel’s village between different tribes, Amanuel was well trained to help broker peace. He had graduated from our partners’ college in Ethiopia, taking courses in conflict management and resolution as part of his education. Now an elementary school teacher, Amanuel’s training in conflict resolution helped him take leadership in the efforts to solve the village’s in-fighting. He began organising seminars, gathering tribal leaders together to inspire cooperation and peace. His approach was successful, and the community was able to exist in harmony once more, thanks in part to the education Amanuel had accessed through his college. Amanuel is a wonderful example of our partners’ goal of producing graduates ‘passionately committed to transforming their society’.

Goods from this shipment will help our partners accommodate hundreds more Ethiopian students like Amanuel, who can grow in their leadership skills and help build a more peaceful society.


The bustling capital of Addis Ababa presents a stark contrast to rural communities, where life moves at a slower pace and poverty is widespread. As Ethiopia develops rapidly, our partners believe that educating students to be leaders with a passion for investing back into their communities is a vital part of that development.


WANT TO BE PART OF THESE LIFE CHANGING STORIES?

Sponsor a container: We need HK$ 50,000 to send any of our waiting shipments on their way. Email us for a list of projects needing funds: partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Give goods: We can help your company or group find projects that need your quality superseded goods. Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Volunteer: We need regular volunteers in a huge variety of roles across the work, from manual labor to administration and specific skilled roles. Email volunteer@crossroads.org.hk

Reference No : S1191A
Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Ethiopia Snapshot

Population: 105 million (2017)
Capital: Addis Ababa
Official languages:  Amharic (official), English and many regional languages

Located in north-eastern Africa, Ethiopia is the most populous land-locked country in the world. The country’s population is highly diverse, containing over 80 different ethnic groups, with a rich and important cultural history. Ethiopia also enjoys great natural diversity, with rivers, forests, caves, highlands and desert areas.

Despite a fast-growing economy, Ethiopia is still one of the poorest nations in Africa. A devastating famine and its effects gripped the nation through the 1980s and 1990s. The population is vulnerable to natural disasters, such as flooding which left more than a million displaced in 2016-17. Around 23.5% of the population lives in poverty, with people in rural areas vastly more vulnerable to poverty.

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

“Teenage pregnancy is high in this area,” write Crossroads’ partners, about their small region in southern Uganda. “Many teenagers who become pregnant are ostracised and drop out of school. It’s very unlikely that they’ll ever return to school.” Most families in this region work hard as farmers, growing crops like bananas, maize and beans, but life can be difficult, and most families are very poor. For teenagers who are kicked out of home when they fall pregnant, the future is desperate and uncertain. They rarely have the skills and education to find a job that can sustain them and their children.

Our partners on this shipment target young, ostracised mothers and other vulnerable women, and offer counselling, child care, and vocational training in skills like tailoring, knitting, hospitality, laundering, gardening and animal husbandry. Starting just two years ago, they have already taken 50 young women through their programmes, and seen success stories like Jacent and Sylivia (featured below and to the right), but they are eager to expand their services to reach and train more women. They are now building a larger facility in an area closer to where many of the women live, and they have asked Crossroads for help filling it with furniture and equipment to run these valuable projects. Our shipment will include goods like furniture, clothing, recreational goods, health supplies and more.


SYLIVIA’S STORY

“Dropping out of school in grade nine as a result of teenage pregnancy did not stop Sylivia from looking at life positively,” wrote our partners. Sylivia was eager to improve her life, both for herself and her new baby. She enrolled in our partners’ tailoring classes, using their childcare for her baby, and made so much income from her handmade clothing that she bought two sewing machines, and now trains other young women like her.

This shipment will include goods to help train women like Sylivia.


The future can seem bleak for teenage mothers like Jane (above, with her children) without the support, practical skills training and care that our partners can offer. They know it’s hard for young mothers to attend classes with their children, so they offer childcare with nutritious food for the children while their mothers learn.

Construction is underway on our partners’ new, larger centre, but they need help fitting it out with furniture and other goods to help them serve more women in need.


JACENT’S STORY

Jacent was abandoned by her boyfriend, and father of her young children, leaving her with no source of income at all. Like many teenage mothers in her region, Jacent had to drop out of school when she became pregnant, so she couldn’t finish her education or go on to any further skills training. Thankfully, Jacent was brought into our partners’ vocational training programmes. 70% of the women in their skills training are teenage mothers, ostracised by their families and desperately poor. With our partners’ help, Jacent  took classes in knitting and dressmaking (pictured above with one of her creations!) and she now feels like she and her children have a secure future. “I can now take care of my children,” she says. “I can buy them food, I can pay rent, and more.”

This shipment will include goods to equip the training centre that helped Jacent and many other young, vulnerable women.


WANT TO BE A PART OF THESE LIFE CHANGING STORIES?

Sponsor a container: We need HK$ 50,000 to send any of our waiting shipments on their way. Email us for a list of projects needing funds: partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Give goods: We can help your company or group find projects that need your quality superseded goods. Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Volunteer: We need regular volunteers in a huge variety of roles across the work, from manual labor to administration and specific skilled roles. Email volunteer@crossroads.org.hk

Reference No : S4963

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Donate Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 42.8 million (2017)
Capital: Kampala
Official languages: English, Swahili

Significant investments in children and women in recent years have led to developmental successes in Uganda, notably in primary education and in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

However, more than half of children in Uganda aged 0-4 are still living in poverty, and 33% have stunted growth. “Children whose growth is stunted at a young age may suffer a lifetime of consequences such as poorer schooling and lower earnings,” say UNICEF.

Thankfully, child mortality rates, and access to clean water in Uganda are steadily improving, thanks to health interventions.

Source: UNICEF

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Farmers in northern Tanzania are living in constant threat of food insecurity. Families grow the food they need for themselves, but limited land, climate fluctuations and poor soil mean that most families are only just getting by. Parents hope for a better future for their children, and the schools are well-attended, but many of the schools lack sufficient furniture and supplies to give a full, rounded education for their students.

We are shipping to a group who targets children and youth with educational and training programmes to give them the hand-up that can help them find work after finishing school, or start their own small businesses. These activities range from extra reading classes to computer literacy, to sports, to dressmaking and welding classes. They estimate that their programmes reach about 3,000 children and youth from around the local area.

They have asked Crossroads for a shipment of goods to support these projects, including computers, furniture, school supplies, electrical and AV equipment and sports and recreational equipment.


Children get extra help in school subjects at our partners’ Educational Club.

Our partners’ Educational Club is just one of the many activities run from their main centre.


TRAINING LEADS TO JOBS FOR YOUTH

Youth unemployment is a serious problem in our partners’ region. Without specialised skills, many young people don’t know how to break out of the cycle of subsistence farming, and sadly often turn to drug dealing or petty crime to get ahead.

In 2017, our partners chose a number of youth from their projects to go through classes in welding, tailoring and advanced agriculture. After the course, all the welding trainees found jobs in garages, and the tailoring classes have created small market businesses for 40 women, who can now make and sell their own clothes.

The goods we are shipping will be used to equip and administer projects like these that help young people move beyond a subsistence lifestyle, so they can take pride in contributing to their community and supporting families of their own.


“Our region has very few industries to employ youth,” wrote our partners. Their classes in skills like computer literacy and tailoring are making a real impact on local youth unemployment.

 


WANT TO BE A PART OF THESE LIFE CHANGING STORIES?

Sponsor a container: We need HK$ 50,000 to send any of our waiting shipments on their way. Email us for a list of projects needing funds: partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Give goods: We can help your company or group find projects that need your quality superseded goods. Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Volunteer: We need regular volunteers in a huge variety of roles across the work, from manual labor to administration and specific skilled roles. Email volunteer@crossroads.org.hk

Reference No : S5137

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Donate Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

DONATE MONEY

Donate Goods!

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DONATE GOODS

Tanzania Snapshot

Capital: Dodoma
Largest City: Dar es Salaam
Main languages: Swahili (official) and English, and more than 100 local languages.
Population: 55.5 million.

Tanzania, located on the eastern coast of Africa, enjoys relative peace, safety and stability. It is a heavily agricultural nation, with 80% of the population being subsistence farmers. Around 68 percent of Tanzania’s 44.9 million citizens live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day, and 32 percent of the population are malnourished.[The literacy rate for people 15 and over is 67.8%

Source: UNDP

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“Farmers are an important part of our society,” says Adisa of Guildance Community Development Foundation, Nigeria. That’s a serious understatement. In rural Nigeria, farming is the backbone of the community and, if farmers can’t work, families don’t eat. Guildance supports grassroots agricultural communities and Crossroads was able to come alongside them to help Nigerian farmers with a UK donation of safe footwear made through Global Hand.

“Many farmers have lost legs or suffered serious foot diseases from hazards on farms. These would have been easily avoided if they’d had farm boots on,” says Adisa. Working with herbicides and other chemicals adds an additional hazard, he explains.

When a UK donor organisation offered 200 pairs of industrial-quality boots (pictured right) on the Global Hand website, Guildance was quick to accept. The boots are not only waterproof and resistant to chemicals and animal products, they have steel toe-caps, making them extremely hardy and safe for agricultural work. The boots were shipped from the UK and distributed to farmers in south-western Nigeria, where they’re now in use. “The farmers were full of praise,” said Guildance. “They now use the safety boots on their farms and, from their feedback, incidents of hazards have reduced drastically.”

The boots are a wonderful example of how Crossroads can help give a second and even third life to un-needed goods. They were offered as second-hand goods, having been formerly used in the food industry, but the quality was fine. We are excited to see them find a new life on Nigerian farms, contributing not only to safety but, in the larger picture, to food security and, ultimately, poverty alleviation.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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The people in Marie’s* region knew the soldiers would come – it was only a matter of time. They had heard stories of nearby villages burned to the ground in their part of Cameroon, but when the soldiers finally reached their own town, the pain was unspeakable. The attackers killed both of Marie’s parents, and she – a young teenager – fled in terror to the bush. There, Marie had no shelter from rain or sun, no medical care, little by way of food to be found. They lived alongside others who had escaped with their lives but, sadly, it wasn’t the safe haven she needed. She was raped and assaulted repeatedly, leading to the birth of two young children. As a new mother, she desperately wanted a home, with food and security for her little ones, but fear of life in her own village made return impossible. Marie made her way out of the bush with her baby and her toddler, to seek help. Her search brought her to the doorstep of a children’s home, run by our partners in Cameroon. Upon arrival, the small, traumatised family (pictured above right) hadn’t eaten for many days, and they had no clothes at all. It took days, they said, before Marie could manage to eat again, but, with their care and expertise, the home managed to give the relative safety she and her little ones so desperately needed.

The current conflict in Cameroon has hardly made it on the current world news radar, as is true of so many tragedies in our scarred world today. It’s been made very real to us here, though, because we are hearing from a stream of partners there with a cry for help. In the past, they’ve needed help with poverty alleviation and rural need, something we did often. Now, though, they write about war: displaced people, the need for clothing for people hiding in the bush, and the pressure of conflict seeing the NGOs we partner with having to pack their belongings to escape to safer towns, as illustrated in the picture above, sent by Marie’s group. “Many of our people are dying here,” they told us. Other photos they included with their application were some of the most graphic and tragic that we’ve received.

In 2007, we first shipped to this particular group with goods that helped set up a vocational training centre, seeing hundreds of youth trained in employable skills. This summer, with the help of volunteers from a financial consulting company, we loaded a shipment of goods (pictured below) for this group that will help not just projects for longer-term survival, but also the likes of ‘Marie’s who are desperate for immediate care: families whose homes have been burned, and displaced people living in the bush.

*Not her real name

 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Each morning at 4:30am, John used to begin his commute to work. The Zambian father of two would leave his rural village house before sunrise, while his boys were sleeping, and began the long 12 kilometre walk to a job that brought in a very small income to keep the family going. He could have taken the bus, but John says if he paid the bus fare there and back, there wouldn’t be enough money to feed his kids. It grieved him to arrive home each night in the dark, after his two children were asleep, knowing he was missing out on time with his boys that he’d never get back.

When Crossroads’ team sent a shipment to John’s community Zambia, we included a number of bicycles, which our partners had requested for their work. They told us that when John was given one of the bicycles from this shipment, he started cycling to and from work, and it changed the family’s life. “Now he can reach home early and is able to interact with the boys in the evening, which is good for cementing family life,” they said. “John says his kids are very happy to see their father back home, and John is forever grateful to the Crossroads family.” Other bikes were given to families or students who live far from town, like Simfukwe, a secondary student who had till then been walking 8km to and from school each day.

Even as these bicycles are closing the physical distance for their riders in Zambia, other goods from the shipment are closing gaps of their own. Uniforms and donated clothes have helped. So have school desks and chairs (pictured below) which raised the status of our partners’ school, so that instead of sending their students elsewhere to take exams, the school now qualifies as an official examination centre themselves, able to be a resource for surrounding schools.

Computers are helping close the digital gap and books are helping close the literacy gap. “Reading culture has changed,” they said. “Every child is able to read one book per month and it is encouraging to hear what these pupils say about the stories in the books….This shipment has above all demonstrated that our school is there to stay,” they said. “The trust from members of the community has grown significantly.”

 

Interested in sponsoring a shipment like this one, or donating goods to help communities in need? Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk to start the conversation!

Ref: S4635

 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Walking many miles to school can make it hard for children to access an education. Our partners in Zambia knew that for kids in remote villages where they operate, just getting to class can mean hours walking in difficult weather, on rocky or dusty roads. Some children miss out on school entirely, or don’t finish their education because there’s no school in their village.

zambiabus6

It was a joy, then, when a Hong Kong NGO donated an excellent van to Crossroads, which we could include in a shipment to our partners in Zambia. They’re now using it as a school bus for children in remote villages, making it that much easier to access school, and a brighter future! With enrollment expanding from 85 students to a whopping 400 at the end of 2016, the new ‘bus’ couldn’t have come at a better time.

zambiabus2

“[We were] extremely excited about the bus,” wrote the Zambian staff. “It was so exciting seeing this come out of the container to the jubilation of all the people that were part of the offloading program. A test drive was taken right away. It will be very useful to us in fulfilling our dream of enrolling more kids.”

zambiabus5

zambiabus4

Also included in the shipment were computers, shoes, clothes, school supplies, furniture and toys, many of which will equip new classrooms for the expanding school.

We’re proud of these children and their families for battling the odds to access education, and so grateful to all the volunteers and sponsors who made this shipment possible!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Zambia Snapshot

Population: 14.83 million
Capital: Lusaka
Zambia is a beautiful, landlocked country in Southern Africa, with a tropical climate.

74.5% of people in Zambia live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day.
40% of children are involved in some kind of child labour
1.1 million people are living with HIV.A65

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“I can now afford to educate my son who is physically challenged. By buying my products you have changed my life, and my family’s, positively.” Refugee craftsman, Mikono Crafts, Kenya

Every good father longs to give his son a safe, fulfilling future. But for the Dads amongst Nairobi’s estimated 100,000 refugees, it’s not something they can always offer. Some of these refugees escaped wars in Somalia, Rwanda and DR Congo. Others fled starvation during the East African famine. Each of them hopes their children will have a more secure future than what they have fled.

Starting a new life from scratch, though, can be almost as traumatic as what they have left behind. Mikono Crafts exists to help refugees in Nairobi – many of whom are living in slums – learn new skills, or use the skills they have, to earn an income and become self-sustaining.

Global Handicrafts sells several products made by refugees working with Mikono, including wooden carvings, adorable soft dolls and our popular banana fibre nativity sets.

See videos about their work here.

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