WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Since late 2016, a conflict has been worsening in Cameroon between the French and English speaking populations. Tensions and violence have forced more than 160,000 people to flee their homes, becoming refugees or internally displaced people. Our partners in Cameroon on this shipment are working hard to continue to support health, education and human rights amidst the often chaotic conditions faced by their communities. “Most of the schools have been closed,” they write, “and the children are being deprived of their right to education.”

We have shipped twice to these partners, and both shipments have been highly strategic in their efforts to improve health, education and poverty in their communities. They told us that previous shipments have made impacts such as:

  • Increasing the exam success rate at schools, when ten institutions were given improved school supplies and furniture.
  • Better service and patient comfort levels at a rural health centre, after receiving medical supplies and equipment.
  • Upgrading head office and facilities using furniture, appliances and office equipment, helping them administer projects more effectively and retain staff.
  • More than 100 aid workers and other key stakeholders given training at workshops using equipment and supplies from Crossroads’ shipments.

With this next shipment, they have asked for goods to extend and expand their projects, such as a scheme to train 300 women in basic bookkeeping and business skills, and to launch a new HIV/Aids education campaign, as well as much more. We are grateful for another opportunity to give a capital investment of goods into their work once again.


How donated goods built a school

In one of Crossroads’ previous shipments to these partners, we included school goods and clothing. We couldn’t have imagined the impact these simple items could have on our partners’ orphanage. The goods kickstarted an education wing of the children’s home, and now they have a functioning school for these children who can now access caring, quality education. Here’s how they described it:

“The children in the orphanage had no new clothes and toys to play with nor books for reading.  We remedied this situation by providing them with clothes, toys and books. We made sure they were visited by national and international staff and volunteers who used the toys to play with them and the books to help them read. They then developed a culture of reading which lead to the building of a classroom in the premises of the orphanage. 

Our organisation carried out an online fundraising campaign to help raise money to build two classrooms. We achieved our goal and today there is a school in the orphanage.”

 

We look forward to including more clothing and school goods in this upcoming shipment.


The gift of basic furniture can lift the profile and build the capacity of a grassroots organisation. In our last shipment to these partners, they spoke of the impact of office furniture form the shipment: “All our staff now have office tables and chairs to sit on for better working conditions. We hold planning meetings with staff and stakeholders in our conference room which is solely equipped with donations received from Crossroad.” This next shipment will include furniture and other goods to equip the administration of projects.


People displaced by conflict through Cameroon are struggling with trauma, loss, and unemployment. Our partners support both displaced people in their new communities and those in the host communities who were already living in poverty, in great need of essentials like clothing, shoes and bedding.

Women displaced by war are offered counselling and job training through our partners’ projects. Crossroads included sewing machines in our last shipment, which are being used to help women learn dressmaking skills. This shipment will include more goods for job creation such as hairdressing equipment.

 

REFERENCE NO. S3318B

 


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Cameroon snapshot

Population: 25.2 million
Capital: Yaoundé

Cameroon is in the west Central Africa region, with natural features including beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas.

Although the country as a whole has improved standards of literacy and healthcare, there is still a long way to go. Fewer than half of children go on to secondary education, and over 40% are involved in some kind of child labour. The current conflict has created more than 160,000 displaced people, and caused havoc in education and healthcare services.
Source: UNICEF

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

The Western region of Cameroon is rural and isolated. The majority of its population are dependent on traditional agriculture for their food and livelihoods, but a lack of proper roads and modern communications mean that they can’t develop their trade and have little access to other opportunities.  An influx of displaced people from Cameroon’s civil conflict has put further strain on already struggling communities. Many are working to welcome displaced families and support them in their time of crisis, but it’s hard to do so with so little.

Our NGO partners on this shipment provide the tools and training people need to generate new jobs, they are supplying medical equipment to improve the lives of those with disabilities, and they are revitalising schools with new books, furniture and educational materials.

When they received Crossroads’ shipment, staff told us that it came at a time when they were seeing communities extra stretched with displaced people, their children needing schooling, and families needing extra health services. They were overjoyed to receive a large quantity of school supplies, computers for schools, books, office furniture, wheelchairs and crutches, educational toys and hygiene supplies.

 

“We are so grateful to the donors of the materials we have here – computers, plates, books, and more. These will go a long way to assisting children with their studies.” School teacher, rural Cameroon

 

Elementary children received hygiene supplies as well as benefiting from toys, books and other goods from Crossroads’ shipment. One school that received goods has more than 120 students displaced by violent conflict elsewhere in Cameroon.

Kerosene lanterns from Crossroads’ shipment were hugely useful to displaced students in one of the town’s regular power cuts.

The shipment included medical goods such as new wheelchairs, crutches, bandages and compression pads to help equip under-resourced rural clinics.

 

Teachers spoke warmly of the difference that practical resources will make on the education they can offer their students, particularly computers. “We hope now that these children will be as comfortable with computers as any children outside Cameroon,” said one. “Now our children can participate and be part of the global village.”

 

Others spoke of the challenges that displaced children have been dealing with. “I dare not talk about the conditions from which they came, because it’s very sorrowful,” said a teachers. “We have parents who come in crying, the children are crying.” Another said many children have walked for days to reach this district, escaping bloody violence in conflict areas. “We want them to have the opportunity to continue their education here. We’re just lucky we have teachers here. We are so grateful to the donors of the materials we have here,” she said, speaking of the goods from Crossroads’ shipment. “These will go a long way to assisting children with their studies.

Reference No. : S4936


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Cameroon is ranked just 151 out of 189 on the Human Development Index and struggles with a number of challenges. Across the country there is limited access to healthcare and education facilities, particularly in rural areas. Economic development has been slow, and poor infrastructure prevents many communities from accessing the services that they need. Making the situation more difficult is the increasing tension and violence in Cameroon’s English speaking regions, where escalating conflict has led to the displacement of many thousands of people.

Our NGO partners in Cameroon work tirelessly across a number of fronts to help alleviate the difficulties faced by communities there. They run schooling projects including a computer training centre, support orphanages in the care of children, lead poverty reduction schemes in several areas, and work with women to empower them with the skills they need to find employment. The work that our partners carry out reaches many local communities in Cameroon, and they estimate that the goods they received in this shipment will directly benefit some 10,000 people in the coming years.

“Since we received these items, there has been a different atmosphere in our school. It has led to increased productivity and ensured we were awarded a high score in the First School Living Certificate” – Beneficiary School

(Above) New desks and chairs, donated from Hong Kong, have transformed teaching and learning for rural students.

(Above) Teachers’ offices were equipped with new computers and printers.

 

The goods sent in this shipment have been impactful in many ways, here are just a few key examples:

  • Hospital items were distributed to an undersupplied clinic, saving them around US$12,000
  • Chairs, desks, office supplies and canteen equipment were given to a local primary school, saving them roughly US$30,000 and allowing for the construction of two new classrooms
  • New computers allowed for the expansion of our partners training centre, increasing their intake from 700 to 1500 students

 

The goods that were received in this shipment will continue to have an impact on people’s lives for many years to come, and have proven even more vital in the context of Cameroon’s current tensions. We, our NGO partners, and the beneficiaries are all very grateful for your kind donations and support.


FURTHER PHOTOS OF IMPACT

 

 

 

 

“Over 1,600 pupils have benefited from the books and other school equipment in Yaounde and over 3,000 in the South West Region.”      NGO Director

Reference No. : S3048


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Crossroads’ partners on this shipment wrote of the endless factors that keep people trapped in poverty: unreliable electricity supply, limited clean water, leading to outbreaks of disease, and poor roads and transport in rural areas, so that farmers find it hard to get produce to outside markets. “Most families can’t afford higher education,” they wrote, “and healthcare services and supplies are a major challenge.”

The shipment sent by Crossroads included goods to help equip and expand their projects, such as:

  • Audio-visual equipment for training and education
  • Toys, sports equipment and educational supplies for community schools and youth sports projects
  • Office furniture, computers and office supplies to improve administration
  • Hundreds of books for schools and libraries
  • Beds and bedding to equip schools and clinics
  • Computers and monitors for digital literacy training.

“It is difficult to express in a report the feelings of the beneficiaries. Everywhere we went brought so much joy and a feeling of relief. They felt love and this boosted their self-esteem.” – NGO staff

(Above) Volunteers help to unload the goods from the shipment which had arrived at our partner NGO’s offices.

(Above) Excitement at the arrival of the goods was expressed in dance and song at one school that benefited!

(Above) The educational goods were distributed to our partners’ network of schools, where things like school desks and chairs, stationery and books were received with jubilation by the under-resourced teachers.

“There are many orphans and other vulnerable youth who do not go to school because of lack of means,” wrote our partners. “We have designed a vocational training programme to benefit this group of children and enable them live independent lives and contribute to the economic development of our country.” Computers from the shipment are helping our partners give training to these children that would otherwise be out of reach.

Reference No. S4545


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Cameroon is ranked just 151 out of 189 on the Human Development Index and struggles with a number of challenges. Across the country there is limited access to healthcare and education facilities, particularly in rural areas. Economic development has been slow, and poor infrastructure prevents many communities from accessing the services that they need. Making the situation more difficult is the increasing tension and violence in Cameroon’s English speaking regions, where escalating conflict has led to the displacement of many thousands of people.

Our NGO partners in Cameroon work tirelessly across a number of fronts to help alleviate the difficulties faced by communities there. They run schooling projects including a computer training centre, support orphanages in the care of children, lead poverty reduction schemes in several areas, and work with women to empower them with the skills they need to find employment. The work that our partners carry out reaches many local communities in Cameroon, and they estimate that the goods they received in this shipment will directly benefit some 10,000 people in the coming years.

“Since we received these items, there has been a different atmosphere in our school. It has led to increased productivity and ensured we were awarded a high score in the First School Living Certificate”– Beneficiary School

(Above) New desks and chairs, donated from Hong Kong, have transformed teaching and learning for rural students.

(Above) Teachers’ offices were equipped with new computers and printers.

The goods sent in this shipment have been impactful in many ways, here are just a few key examples:

  • Hospital items were distributed to an undersupplied clinic, saving them around US$12,000
  • Chairs, desks, office supplies and canteen equipment were given to a local primary school, saving them roughly US$30,000 and allowing for the construction of two new classrooms
  • New computers allowed for the expansion of our partners training centre, increasing their intake from 700 to 1500 students

The goods that were received in this shipment will continue to have an impact on people’s lives for many years to come, and have proven even more vital in the context of Cameroon’s current tensions. We, our NGO partners, and the beneficiaries are all very grateful for your kind donations and support.


FURTHER PHOTOS OF IMPACT

Reference No. S4369


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

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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

 


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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...

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

While Cameroon’s economy and quality of life continue to improve, it’s people in the rural areas who can be left behind. “Most students in rural communities can hardly afford school materials like books, pens, pencils, etc.” wrote Crossroads’ partners, “and many are yet to be introduced to ICT due to lack of such equipment in rural schools.” They see young people, strong and ready to work, forming small collective farming groups, but their lack of business knowledge and modern equipment continually holds them back from escaping the poverty cycle. Children without the most basic necessities like clothes, are more vulnerable to diseases and injuries.

Our NGO partners in Cameroon have been working in the region for almost 50 years to help rural towns and villages overcome these challenges and build strong self-sustaining communities. Goods from Crossroads’ shipment helped their educational programmes including skills courses, business workshops, and a higher education library,  health clinics, disability support groups, and orphanages.

“With the computers sent by Crossroads we have been able to set up a modern ICT lab and a conference hall where most of our meetings are held. This has helped save over US$3500 and has already benefitted more than 300 students” – NGO Director

(Above) Students make use of the new ICT lab established with computers received in this shipment from Crossroads.

(Above) The higher education library is now fully supported with education materials and resources.

Incredibly, our partners estimate that the shipment sent by crossroads has already directly benefitted 1000 people, having been distributed carefully amongst the many projects they support. Here are just some of the ways that the goods have been used so far:

  • Refrigerators have helped conserve supplies more effectively, reducing food waste and saving over US$500 per month.
  • Toys and games have been supplied to nurseries and primary schools, boosting enrolment significantly in areas where recent conflict had greatly reduced attendance.
  • Text books and educational materials have equipped the higher education library with access to modern curricula, allowing the US$850 that had been set aside for this purpose to finance a new internet project for library users.

(Above) Children at this orphanage received a supply of new toys through our partner’s distribution efforts.

As our partner’s organisation continues its distribution these goods, and the many more that were included in the shipment, will continue to benefit even more communities across Cameroon.


FURTHER IMPACT

(Above 1st pic) A community who had been displaced by conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions receive essential goods including clothing and footwear. (Above 2nd pic) Staff working for our NGO partners have enjoyed an improvement to their facilities, with computers and furniture boosting moral and productivity throughout their offices.

 

New refrigerators ensure food can be stored more safely and less is wasted. As a result, student food supplies are no longer such a financial burden.

 

Through our partners’ distribution, the ‘Football for Change’ programme received a full set of new kits, allowing more young people to enjoy the sport.

 

Students at one primary school show their enthusiasm for the new school supplies and toys that they received from this shipment. Students had experienced a long period of absence due to conflict in the region and they are now very excited to return to their learning.

Reference No. : S4210


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

The village of Eyangntui in Cameroon is one of the most remote and disadvantaged communities in the region. People make a living through small-scale farming or petty trading, and young people grow up feeling they have little hope of rising out of poverty.

“Before the shipment, we lacked school chairs, desks, office furniture and stationary items. We were unable to supply relief items to communities in crises.”  – NGO staff

We shipped to an NGO in Cameroon, staffed by local people seeking to invest in their region’s youth. They run vocational training with courses like computer skills and tailoring, and they offer health services to communities like Eyangntui that lack formal health clinics. The shipment arrived in 2013, but now, several years later, we have received further feedback from our partners showing the longer-term impact that this capital investment of goods has made.

The container arrives in rural Cameroon, loaded with furniture, clothes, stationery, wheelchairs and other supplies.

 

In communities with high unemployment, young people are desperate for training in job skills. School furniture, AV equipment, office furniture and stationery have equipped this vocational training centre so that 50 new students each year can access life-changing skills and support to find work. 

 

“Now, our vocational training centre has chairs and desks, our library has good books, orphans, widows and families in need received relief items from the shipment.”

“The school furniture has helped us to accommodate 50 new students each year in our vocational training centre,” they wrote. Clothing and household goods were an immense help to people struggling without basic essentials. “1,500 people have received items for personal and household use, and now we have carried out football for social change programs which changed the lives of 4,000 people.”

Wheelchairs from the shipment helped several people with disabilities find mobility for the first time, and goods for school students have also helped keep children in school. “Our outreach provided 200 orphans and vulnerable children with school needs such as school bags, stationary items which enable them to attend school and function effectively in class,” they wrote.

Medical supplies such as first aid kits and mattresses were gratefully received, with some items never seen before in their communities. Thank you for helping us to invest in the health and future of communities in Cameroon.


Members of the village women’s association work tirelessly to improve life for their children and their village community, but they do so with very few resources. “They lacked good bags,” wrote staff. “They didn’t have durable cooking utensils, and they didn’t have stationery for their correspondence. The shipment from Crossroads provided some of these much-needed items, thanks to donations of goods from Hong Kong partners.

“Through the shipment our humanitarian outreach provided 200 orphans and vulnerable children with school needs such as school bags and stationery items which enabled them to attend school and function effectively in class.” – NGO staff

Reference No. : S3317


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

It is estimated that just over a third of Cameroon’s population live below the poverty line, with many people having to survive on less than US$1 per day. In the face of this poverty, healthcare has become a serious issue, and Cameroonians frequently face difficulties accessing medical services due to inadequate facilities, a lack of health centres and unaffordable fees. Furthermore, as is often the case in areas stricken by poverty, children in Cameroon are amongst the most affected. Across the country the child labour rate is high, particularly in rural areas, and many children are missing out on the opportunity to attend school and engage in stimulating play and recreation activities.

Our NGO partners are working in Cameroon to help address these challenges. They are involved with supplying goods and offering support to a wide range of poverty alleviation and healthcare initiatives, all of which have benefitted from the shipment that was sent out by Crossroads.

“Cameroonians are used to donors dumping stuff on them that is no longer useful. But getting brand new boots? Oh, I wish you all could see the smiles on their faces!” – NGO Director

The goods that our partners received have already been put to use producing lasting benefits for many communities; clothing and household goods have been distributed to vulnerable families, office equipment has been used to improve NGO facilities, and books, toys and games have been provided to children who had previously had none. Perhaps the most significant impact of the shipment, however, has been to allow the completion of a specialist children’s ward in the Buea Hospital. The hospital beds, oxygen concentrators and neonatal beds that were sent by Crossroads have saved the hospital almost US$20,000 and were very gratefully received by the doctors there.

(Above) Hospital beds and an infant incubator that have been put to good use in the new hospital children’s ward

(Above) Children in the city of Bamenda enjoy reading some of the new books they have received.

(Above) With new equipment and games, children are finding new opportunities for play and learning.

Looking forward, our partners have recently signed a contract with the government allowing them use of a research lab for the development of medicines and vaccines in Cameroon. Their lab, which has also been equipped with goods received in this shipment, is the start of a new phase of projects that they are now able to undertake. Although it has now been almost two years since this container first arrived in Cameroon, the feedback from our partners has been focussed on how enduring its impact has been. This response is best summarised by their director –

“It blows my mind that Cameroonians still talk about this container, that they still point to items from it and say how they are used and appreciated”


FURTHER IMPACT

“We have collected many donations and brought them to Cameroon in the past, but it has never reached up to the level and impact that this container had!”  – NGO Director

Reference No. :  S3478


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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 ...

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read more ...

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

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