The Refugee All Stars, recorded by record label Epitaph Europe B.V., began with a group of six musicians who lived in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, during the era of the country’s horrifying civil war. In a rebel campaign named ‘Operation Kill Every Living Thing’, soldiers descended on Freetown and caused a panicked mass exodus, with thousands of civilians fleeing the region, and ending up in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. It was in one of these camps that the six musicians found each other and began singing songs of hope, pain and freedom for their fellow refugees. Today the group has returned to Freetown, recorded CDs, been the subject of an internationally-acclaimed documentary, and joined hands with many other musicians, still advocating for refugee issues through their uplifting, buoyant songs that speak the African refugee story.

 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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“When the elephants dance, the grass gets trampled. That is the expression we use in Africa.” A worried Ugandan leader reached for this metaphor to help us understand the plight of his people. Members of our team have visited the war torn area and seen the truth of the African proverb: as the rebels continue their fight, those most impacted are the women and children.

War

Uganda’s violence is now entering its third decade, and, over this time, the women who have survived are frequently widowed. There is no employment opportunity for them in the camps for displaced persons. If they flee to the slums of the city for protection, work can be hard to find, sanitation difficult to secure for their children and discrimination, as single women, hard to bear. Worse, back In the camps, education is unavailable so any women who have grown up there, over the past twenty years, may not have had opportunity to go to school at all. Those living in the slums of the capital city of Kampala, therefore, may desperately seek a better life but the odds are heavily against them, without support. This is why Crossroads is partnering with NGOs willing to offer strategic support: they provide educational and vocational skills to women and youth, health training, water and sanitation programmes, and adult literacy classes. Without help of this kind, there is no viable way for war victims to leave the nightmare of their past behind and begin the path towards a normal life.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.

A6

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...

read more ...

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COVID: SAME STORM, DIFFERENT BOATS  “This pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society,” Melinda Gates said of Covid-19. She adds:...

read more ...