Mr Gande, at 76, could be the face of grassroots poverty in Malawi. He’s a farmer who has always survived day to day by growing his own food. After suffering a back injury, though, it became more and more difficult to live off his land.

“He has to crawl to get around,” said Thandiwe Moyo, one of our staff, who visited him in his humble home: one where he sleeps on a hard bench, his chickens in the next room.

Being disabled in this way means Mr Gande now relies mostly on the kindness of neighbours. Malawi likes to call itself ‘The warm heart of Africa’, and, certainly, his neighbours, in their provision of food and other care for him, demonstrated that. Even with their support, though, his life remains tough, uncomplaining as he is.

His quiet life is one example of those at the grassroots who benefitted from a shipment we sent to Malawi this year. Mr Gande received items which, unremarkable enough in themselves, were life-changing nonetheless. A thick, soft mattress, for example, now protects his injured back and he now has much needed clothing which was beyond his normal financial reach (picture below).


Our shipment to Malawi saw items distributed, at the grassroots, to hundreds more individuals like Mr Gande. At an institutional level, moreover, it helped equip a medical clinic and a school, both offering services to the poorest of the poor in the region.

 

Before our hospital beds and mattresses arrived at this health centre, staff told us it grieved them to see patients arrive when the centre was full, knowing they could only offer them a sheet spread on the floor as their ‘bed’. Our shipment helped build capacity for this centre.

 

Village children, though bright and ready to learn (above pic), can find it hard to focus on learning while sitting on the floor, with nowhere to write. Our shipment included school desks and chairs (below pic) that will make learning easier at this school for both students and their teachers.

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Building Hope in the Slums

S36932.jpgIn the slums of the Uganda capital Kampala, for many there is no bright outlook on their future. Our partner NGO is working hard to change this by offering a wide range of community building programs. According to them the economy in Uganda is growing, but only a small number of people are benefitting from this, increasing the gap between poor and rich. To give more people the change to find a more sustainable way of living, the NGO is offering free education to children and adults, is offering vocational training, is providing free health care and even is involved in housing programs which will survive the next storm.

The work is vast and fruitful, but to increase it even further the NGO is relying on help from outside. Our shipment will impact their work heavily, allowing them to move to a next level of offering help to the poor.


By giving them a small loan at the end the NGO also provides the means needed to fulfil their dream.

S36931Nambalirwa  Ruth is one of the women who benefitted from the business program of our partner NGO. During this program people will be offered a vocational training to start their own small business. The NGO offers a variety of skills from hair cutting to opening a small vegetable stall, like Ruth did.
The aim is to motivate and build on the skills people are already having. By giving them a small loan at the end the NGO also provides the means needed to fulfil their dream. Having an own business does not only provides in a basic living for Ruth and her family. It also gives her a feeling of self-confidence. Knowing she holds the future in her own hands.


Shipment includes:

  • School uniforms
  • 200 school desks- and chairs.
  • 50 boxes of school and office stationary
  • Sport items and games for the children
  • A projector and television
  • 10 beds
  • And much more…

 

This shipment will include goods to help train many more women like Ruth, providing them a future and a way out of poverty.

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

Job Creation and Training

S36881UN statistics indicate that up to 78% of Zambians in rural areas are living in poverty, as our consignee for this shipment can attest. When the large mining company in their town closed down, huge numbers of people lost their jobs and are now struggling to survive. Along with the loss of jobs came the demise of medical clinics and sports clubs and other social amenities also run by the mining company. Added to this is the HIV/AIDs problem, which has resulted in many orphaned children in this area. Our consignee aims to improve and change people’s lifestyles. Their programmes focus heavily on education and training to impart marketable skills and bring hope for the future. This is the third shipment to this organisation that has proved well able to use what we send.

 

4Brian (right) benefitted greatly from the computers which arrived in a container from Crossroads – he learnt up-to-date skills at the project’s computer school and was able to find work in a business centre. Then he was able to take part in a government election registration exercise, and with the money he was paid he started ‘B and D business centre’, employing four people!

 

Potential impact:

  • Computer training for at least another 50 young people.
  • A Sewing centre to train at least another 50 young people.
  • Clothing and essentials for 125 school children & wider families.
  • Children from remote areas able to attend school.

Shipment includes:

  • Computers & sewing machines for school and vocational training
  • A minibus for bussing children to school
  • School chairs, desks and equipment
  • Clothing and household goods for local communities.

 

This shipment will help their project to improve the lives of children in the area and give hope for the future.

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

That point had come for the Chen family. Four months after Mrs Chen’s stroke, her speech had not returned and confusion left her struggling to recognize friends and family. She even battled to sit upright in a chair. Her husband, after a valiant effort to care for her, knew it was beyond what he could provide.

The answer came in the form of the Po Leung Kuk elderly home in Tung Chung, who took in Mrs Chen as a resident. Visitors are struck by the compassion that emanates from staff and nurses at the home, who provide this haven.  Mr Chen, visiting each day, saw the nurses work gently with his wife, encouraging her to find new ways to manage her life. They taught her basic sign language. They helped strengthen her muscle system. Today, she recognizes the voices of her husband and the staff. Smiling and gesturing to them, she demonstrates that she can even sit up on her own.

It was this need for care among Hong Kong’s elderly that birthed this particular home. As the staff sought to furnish it, however, they faced a challenge. “We didn’t want to purchase a lot of cheap, identical furniture,” said the director. “We wanted it to feel like home for our residents.” That’s where Crossroads could help! The elderly home’s directors visited our site and spent hours with colour swatches and lists, carefully choosing sets of tables, chairs and decorations that they used to create themed rooms, corners of comfort and community. They created a nursing home that, remarkably, truly does feel like home.

“Around 40% of the furniture, and 90% or our office equipment, is from [Crossroads],” said the director.

That meant, she concluded, they could spend more money on medical support for the residents. It is precisely the kind of Hong Kong support Crossroads loves to provide.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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