“I used to say that, as an engineer, I was trained to solve problems. That is true, but, more significantly, I was trained to define problems so that we ensure we address the right thing. This is never more complex than when addressing poverty and the environment: each both cause and effect of one another. Poverty, for example, sees a farmer deprived of education which may result in land degradation and, thus, inadequate crop yield, deepening his poverty.” Nigel Langdon, who leads the strategy for our Environment Department, expresses it well. The vicious cycle plays out across the complex landscape of need we serve.

At Crossroads we try to target a range of strategies locally and globally that advocate for environmental sustainability. Here on our own property, we try ourselves to walk the talk, from the plates we use at lunch, to energy-efficient air conditioners in our buildings, to the 33,585 kg of materials we recycled in 2015-16.


 

IMG_2489Nikki wasn’t always an environmental hero. Her story started when she was a young mother with babies and a growing collection of baby gear her little one had outgrown. “I needed space at home!” she says, and knew there must be many families in the same boat. Meanwhile, Nikki saw with sadness the mountains of discarded furniture, including designer chairs and working refrigerators, in estate dumping areas. She knew how much they could help people in need in her own city, and the damage that landfill was doing to the environment.

She swung into action. She began collecting goods from households around her neighbourhood and distributing them to NGOs and needy families in Hong Kong. It wasn’t long before demand for her services snowballed, and she knew it was time to register as an offficial charity. Nikki’s NGO ‘DB Mothers and Friends’ has now grown from a tiny neighbourhood pick-up service on Saturdays to a Hong Kong-wide social enterprise that employs people in need of a job to drive on pickups every day.

Happily, she found us! We have been in partnership with DB Mothers and Friends since 2014 and have grown so close that they now give us 99% of the goods they collect: 1-2 trucks’ worth of goods of amazing quality each day! Nikki herself is unstoppable. “It’s more than a full-time job,” she says. The days can start at 6 am and end as late as 10 pm, but to Nikki (pictured), it’s worth it. In this city, where >3.5 million tons goes to landfill each year, the need for what she does is greater than ever.

They say that not all heroes wear capes! It’s people like Nikki who convince us that heroes walk amongst us, helping Hong Kong fight for a fairer and more sustainable future.

Donate goods through DB Mothers and Friends by joining their Facebook page!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

2015 – 2016 statistics
Environment

We recycled..
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Dee Dee - Goods Donor

Dee Dee, a Hong Kong native, knows the challenges her city faces with space and waste. “Hong Kong needs better awareness of where all our trash builds up,” she says. “We all tend to throw it away and move on. We need to change this disposable mindset.” Dee Dee and her husband Harry love using Crossroads as a solution. They’ve donated household items like computers and furniture many times, using our online platforms, and it’s thanks to donors like them, that we receive so many high quality goods to share with people in need in Hong Kong and around the world!

Hong Kong Horticultural Association

Since 2010, the Hong Kong Horticultural Association has partnered with Crossroads, using our leafy site for arboreal training exercises and activities, and providing pro bono services trimming dangerous branches or felling old trees for safety. It’s a very ‘green’ win-win partnership!

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Placing goods ‘wisely and well…’

Right goods, placed the right way, can change the future of those who receive them. Wrong goods placed the wrong way can be ineffective or, sadly, worse.

That’s why, at Crossroads, we strive to place product with deep consideration, and even deeper understanding, of the group that will receive them. This doesn’t happen overnight. We begin a process, a lengthy one, which allows us to understand the group’s history, its present need and its future plans. If the placement of goods can make a strategic investment in their operations, helping them move forward, we move forward. Every step of the way, our various departments liaise to ensure we are outfitting the recipients with as close a match as possible: a bespoke ‘fit’ for their particular strategies, climate, culture, expertise and goals.

We all know the maxim: “Give a man a fish and he eats today. Teach a man to fish and he eats tomorrow.” In our opinion, though, we take it a step further. As well as learning how to fish, that fisherman might, tomorrow, need a boat, a freezer and even a computer to manage his business. That’s where Crossroads steps in to help others step up.


 

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Thailand: Displaced People

Asylum seekers living on no income, often for many years, were grateful for the gift of new shoes, when a large donation was offered to Global Hand, and taken up by an NGO in Thailand. As one grateful recipient expressed it: “In our culture we say that receiving new shoes is the sign of a new journey.”

 

 

 


 

Nepal: After the Quake Came the Rains…

Knowing the rains were soon to come, and later the cold, corporate donations were tailored towards those racing the clock to provide shelter.

IMG_0576Over 700 high visibility, yellow, waterproofed jackets were provided by Visijax. These superb jackets normally retail at 99 GBP each, making the donation particularly valuable for people in Nepal who were participating in the rescue operation and preparing for the region’s imminent rainy season. They came in an adult range from XS to XL and were unisex in design: thoughtful provision for those working on the ground.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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One injustice followed another when the Atanaga family, living in an impoverished Cameroon area, lost their beloved father and breadwinner. And life got worse. Their father’s relatives laid claim to their house and belongings, leaving the grieving family to live in an abandoned house. They knew child labour was the only ‘hope’ left. With schooling beyond reach, the kids abandoned any chance of escaping the cycle of poverty. Their childhoods had been stolen.

At this point, relatives shared their plight with our partners on the ground. They leaped into action and organised the needed sponsorship to put all three children into school, covering all their costs. They also provided Mrs Atanaga with the capital to start a small market business. Today, the family supports itself, and the children have a fighting chance at a different future.

Zooming out, big picture, the Atanagas typify thousands in locations such as this where Crossroads works. Hallmarks often include weak medical provision, inaccessible education, inadequate housing and no social safety net. Our goal is to provide shipments that inject deeply into the community to see long term change. In this case, our shipment provided our partners in rural Cameroon with several new facilities.

IMG-20170608-WA0035New computer centre: We sent computers that created the first computer centre in the area. It may be hard to believe, in today’s world, but many in the community had never seen a computer before. Now over 300 villagers have regular access to the centre, increasing their skill sets and helping connect them with the rest of the world (photo above).

New medical centre: Hospital beds and medical equipment allowed them to open the local area’s first health clinic.

New school building: This was built in time for the shipment’s arrival so that we could outfit it with school furniture, library books and school supplies. In this region, it is estimated only 10% of adults can read so a facility of this kind can be profoundly empowering.

IMG_7097New playground: Play is serious business in locations where childhoods are too often robbed. Psychologists advise that children’s overall development is impaired if they cannot ‘be kids’ and balance their growing years with play. Hong Kong’s Canadian International School sent equipment unlike anything the community had seen before! The presence of the playground is the first in the history of the village. Happiness is now part of their daily life.

Crossroads’ goods distribution philosophy: This is the kind of investment Crossroads loves to make. We cannot make a capital investment of funds. We can, however, make a capital investment of goods, strategically chosen for their long term impact. We call it investing for life. It’s one of Crossroads’ maxims and our team works harder than we can say to make it happen, locally and internationally.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Give Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

DONATE MONEY

Donate Goods!

Want to donate goods for a shipment like this one?

DONATE GOODS

Our food-saving superheroes

Every day, 3,600 tonnes of food waste are sent to landfill in Hong Kong, according to Feeding Hong Kong. Meanwhile, people...

read more ...

Recycling artisans make good news in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lankan artist Sagara Ranga Liyanage decided to start a handicrafts business, he had to think outside the box. "I...

read more ...

GoodCity: Multiplying kindness

“I don’t want to throw this stuff out. I want it to go to someone who needs it. If only there...

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