While Israel is a developed nation, with high literacy, the gap between rich and poor is significant. The region’s most vulnerable, such as those with disabilities, single-parent families, new immigrants and people injured through terrorism and conflict are often living below the poverty line and struggling to afford the basics of life.

Covid-19 has created even more challenges for those already in poverty in Israel, increasing unemployment and decimating small businesses and day labour jobs that rely on tourism.

Our partners in Israel are acutely aware of the needs around them, and for more than 16 years, they have been supplying humanitarian aid stations all over Israel with needed goods. The projects they serve include new immigrants, the homeless, unemployed people, children’s welfare villages, Holocaust Survivor centres, facilities for the disabled and other institutions.

Crossroads is well-placed to ship containers of valuable aid goods to our partners in Israel, where their channels of distribution are efficient and effective, bringing much-needed relief to thousands each year. They have requested Crossroads’ help with goods like clothing, bedding, toys and household goods for their centres.


During recent lockdown in Israel due to Covid-19, Crossroads’ partners brought containers of much-needed aid to projects serving people who were already poor, and now struggling further.

One centre in Nazareth who received essentials like furniture, clothing, shoes and bedding, said, “I can’t even express how happy they were, how they hugged these shoes, how it’s very important to them. Some have never received a gift like this in all their life, because it’s very expensive. One guy wanted to kiss the shoes, to put them under his pillow.”

The words show how much it means to those in need to know that there are others who care enough to help.

This shipment will include goods that can bring hope and relief to those living without basic necessities.


Helping new immigrants battling poverty

Omida, a single mother from Uzbekistan, moved to Israel hoping to escape the poverty she had known all her life, but when she resettled, she found it very difficult to move beyond that poverty. Our partners have helped her with clothing, baby goods and other things to relieve some of the burden on Omida as she seeks to create a better life for her little one. This shipment will include goods to help provide relief and support for single parent families and immigrants like Omida, while they establish a new home.

 


Vulnerable groups like holocaust survivors, elderly, those with disabilities and new immigrant all appreciate the relief that donations of material goods through our partners’ network of centres can bring.

S5679

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Most kids in Moldova’s orphanages are not orphans, technically. Their parents, struggling with some of the lowest incomes in Europe, simply leave Moldova behind and work in other countries. It is largely their children who populate the orphanages. Global Hand NGO partner, Help the Children, finds foster families for children who have been in institutions and, to support their work, runs a thrift shop, where they also train ‘orphanage graduates’ to become self-sustaining.

They received a magnificent corporate donation of 6,975 items of clothing, based in China, for distribution throughout their areas, and adjoining ones, where clothing can be sparse. As well, they received coffee shop furniture from a UK donor which renovated the canteen for their trainee staff (see main photo below).

From places far and wide, we love to see Global Hand facilitate movement of strategic goods.

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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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Helping Prisoners and their Families

 

Life in a Zambian prison can be a dismal experience.

S3767 Zambia project profile-4When prisoners are released in Zambia, all too often they enter a new state of imprisonment, locked into poverty, as they find nobody will employ them, and they can be shunned by family and community. This leaves thousands of former prisoners without any way to rebuild their lives, even when they are ready to work hard and make a fresh start. “Most of them are destitute,” write our partners.

The NGO we are shipping to has worked closely with more than 20,000 prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families in Zambia since they were founded in the 1980’s. To prisoners, they give counsel and support, as well as meeting material needs of those who have nobody to bring clothing, blankets or medicines not provided by the institution. For those who are released, they help with advice, counsel and small business loans to help people start afresh. Children and families of prisoners are often left deeply impoverished, and sometimes shunned themselves. Our partners care for their needs with clothes, blankets and other necessities, as well as financial help for schooling. Crossroads’ shipment will help boost their supplies of goods for distribution, and will support the administration of their programmes.

Shipment includes:

  • Clothing, shoes and blankets for former prisoners and their families
  • Computers for administration and training

 

S3767 Zambia project profile-11Life in a Zambian prison can be a dismal experience. Our partners offer counselling, advice, medical care and support to the prisoners themselves and to prisoners’ families. “They are discriminated against because of their association with prisoners,” write our partners. Often families lose their primary breadwinner when a father and husband is imprisoned.

 

 

This shipment will include goods to aid many more former prisoners and their families, like the children below.

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.

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Development in War-torn Communities

S3993 DR Congo project profile-4War has left communities in DR Congo in tatters. Sexual violence has traumatised women and children, and created children of rape who are rejected by their families, children witness parents and friends slaughtered, and have no therapy to help them process their experiences. Child soldiers who return home often find themselves hated and rejected.

Child soldiers are often despised by their home community when they return, even though many were forced into combat against their will. It can be hard to find friends and employment. These young men, all returned soldiers, are learning to use digital cameras and other technology. One of the young trainees, Christophe (right), is now the area’s only professional photographer and his work benefits both himself, through income generated, and the community, through his services.

This shipment will help our partners in the war zone of Eastern DR Congo work in many different ways to restore and heal their people.

Shipment includes:

  • Clothing and shoes, for impoverished women and children, returned child soldiers and ostracised children of rape
  • Household goods and furniture for administration, counselling and reconciliation programmes
  • Computers to open a cyber café, and for training returned child soldiers in employable skills
  • Toys and recreational equipment for programmes reintegrating children and young people affected by war

“She is no longer overwhelmed or fearful,” say our partners.

S3993 DR Congo project profile-2Pendeze is a young woman of 23, and a former child soldier.
When Pendeze was a teenager, she witnessed her mother and father brutally killed during local conflict when they were hiding in the forest. In hurt and anger, Pendeze signed up to join the rebels. She finally left combat and tried to reintegrate into her home community, but found brokenness, fear and poverty waiting for her. Unable to support herself and her siblings, she turned to our partners for help. They encouraged Pendeze to learn tailoring in their programmes and today, she owns two sewing machines and can earn an income. “She is no longer overwhelmed or fearful,” say our partners.

 

This shipment contains goods to help more than 100 former soldiers like Pendeze learn new, life-giving skills.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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D.R. Congo Snapshot

Population: 77.43 million

Capital: Kinshasa

DR Congo is located in central sub-Saharan Africa, straddling the equator. It is one of the most resource-rich nations in the world and a place of great natural beauty.

Civil war The most recent war in DR Congo officially ended in 2003, but violence continues in certain regions, including in the East, where this shipment will be helping. At least 5.4 million people have died as a result of war between 1998-2008.

S3993 DR Congo project profile-9

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.

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Food security and community development

In rural eastern Zambia, life can be dire for women in vulnerable situations, like widows, sex workers, and girls from poor families. Child marriage is still common when families can’t afford to support all their children, and women who lose their husbands often have no way at all to support themselves, beyond growing a small amount of food. Their children may have to drop out of school, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

 

This shipment is equipping an organisation to continue their work with the most vulnerable women in their district of 1.7 million. “In our area about 78% of the people live in abject or severe poverty,” they told us. They’re helping by training women in business skills, then giving small loans to start business of their own. Since starting in 2010, more than 5,300 women have benefited! The NGO also supports orphans to stay in school, and has further programmes to benefit entire communities, such as building safe, hygienic toilets for schools, digging boreholes and caring for HIV patients.

 

Shipment includes:

  • Computers, to train youth in computer skills
  • Clothing for children and women in women’s empowerment programmes
  • Office furniture and supplies for administrative centres
  • Books for new community library

4The Lungu family know what it means to feel starving. Each year, their small farm plot only grew enough food to last three months. For the rest of the year, they lived on what small amount of food their meagre income could purchase, which was scarcely enough to live on.

Today, as they stand in front of the granary (above), the Lungus feel more secure. Crossroads’ partner worked in their village to teach people better, higher yield agricultural techniques like soil management, crop rotation and irrigation. “Every farmer is expected to experiment with small, safe innovations to see what methods work best,” wrote our partners. Now the Lungu family farm grows enough food to last 12 months – enough to see them through to each annual harvest.

This shipment will include goods to  will help administer programmes that work with 900 families like the Lungus on agricultural techniques.


3Maiko (left) didn’t think he would ever finish school. His parents died of HIV/Aids, leaving Maiko and his siblings in the care of their elderly grandfather. Crossroads’ partners took Maiko into their programme and supported him, not only through school but on to a tertiary Education College. Now, Maiko works as a teacher and supports his entire family.

Clothes, stationery, toys and other goods in this shipment will help our partner care for orphans like Maiko, transforming their lives and giving them great opportunities.

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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Protection and Opportunity for families

Our partner in Tanzania is working in a region which is stricken by huge drought. With water scarce, harvests have failed, leaving many people victim to starvation. Livestock, the main source of income, died on a huge scale leaving the region’s inhabitants with no or little source of income. HIV/Aids has affected many families, leaving children without parents or caregivers. These children are the ones our partner in Tanzania is giving care to. Since beginning, they have been able to send 52 of these children to school and to provide them with shelter, food and clothes. Many more are still waiting for a similar change to a more normal life.

 Ester is aA42 Maasai girl who is living at our consignee’s orphanage centre. Before Ester was even born, she was married off to a man nearly 50 years older than her. Her future husband paid a dowry to her family when Ester was 9 years old to take her as his wife. However, when Ester heard she was being forced to marry, she ran away to the orphanage.  Here she was taken in with care and protection.

 

They helped her attend school and Ester has now finished class seven. She still lives at the orphanage  and is waiting for her result to go to secondary school.

 

Tanzania_2

Potential impact: Providing education for the community and especially to orphaned, widows and youth. The shipment includes clothing, desks, chairs and bookshelves, guitars, keyboards and trumpets

 

Crossroads shipment will help more girls like Ester grow and receive an education.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Tanzania Snapshot

Capital: Dodoma
Largest City: Dar es Salaam
Population: 47.4 million. About half of the population is under 18.

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 68%

There are 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS, 1.2 million children orphaned because of AIDS, and 3.1 million orphans in total, in Tanzania.
21% of children in Tanzania are involved in child labour.

A44

Vocational training and community development

UN statistics indicate that up to 78% of Zambians in rural areas are living in poverty, as our consignee for this shipment can attest. Simply finding enough to eat each day is a daily struggle for many. In the region to which Crossroads is shipping, education is another big challenge, where many parents cannot afford for their children to go to school. Widows in poverty face particular hardship, when relatives claim everything they have, including their home. This leaves the women with nothing, which forces them to live on the streets.  The vision of our consignee is to bring hope, love and compassion into this region. The way they try to do this is with a mixture of providing vocational training, community development and supporting victims of HIV/Aids.

Zambia_4

Potential impact:

  • Clothing for hundreds of people
  • Teaching new vocational skills to vulnerable people in the area
  • Improve the efficiency of the organisation

Shipment includes:

  • Computer equipment
  • Shoes
  • Household goods and appliances

A91

 

Matilda Zulu not only lost her husband, she also found she had HIV/Aids.  She was helped through various HIV/Aids interventions carried out by our consignee organisation. Because of this she learned to face her life with hope. Matilda now advocates for women with HIV/Aids, encouraging them to be open and come forward to help and care.

 

 


A62

When Helen’s husband died, she was left with four children, the youngest only eight years old. Left with no income, she and her children had to live in a one-roomed house, and she became hopeless and couldn’t see a way to survive. Thankfully, she came in touch with our partner NGO, who helped her learn sewing skills.

Now, she has extended her house with two new rooms and is making a living as a designer and tailor, and she also sells peanut butter from her home. One of her boys is working, two other are in college and one is finishing high school.


This shipment will provide more computers, books, furniture and basic essentials like shoes and clothing to improve the lives of people like Helen and her children.

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.

A54