At 22, Musharif should have been excited about a life ahead of him, but he felt he was going nowhere. His family had tried to survive on his father’s minimal salary as a rickshaw driver. They lived in a poor part of Pune, India, where Musharif dropped out of school early and started earning a minimal income in a mechanic’s workshop.

While Musharif was feeling trapped in Pune, an investment company, in a nearby part of India, had 27 computers to get rid of, some of them very high-end. They reached out to Global Hand, and we helped match them to NGO, Saahasee, which serves the poor in India, including Pune. Saahasee used these superb computers to help set up a computer school that now offers high quality training at very low cost. It was here that Global Hand’s story met Musharif’s. A friend told him of the course. He enrolled and did so well that he was offered a job in a tech company, became team leader, received a pay rise within four months.

“I sincerely believe that the IT school has changed my life completely,” he says.

We love Musharif’s story: one small opportunity, driven by one company’s decision not to trash their computers, can be the key to breaking the poverty cycle for a grassroots family.

The computer school continues to thrive, offering training to young and old as they prepare for a life which requires technical skills. (see main photo below)

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Education and Vocational Training

Even though Fiji is a beautiful country, poverty is widespread, particularly in rural regions.

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-9Fiji might be a tropical paradise, but for many of the nation’s impoverished children, life is no holiday. The community where Crossroads’ partner NGO runs a school is facing deep poverty and high unemployment. This often leads to alcohol abuse, gambling and domestic violence, so that besides teaching their students, school staff often deal with problems the children bring into the classroom from home. The school addresses these problems by engaging not only the children but also their parents. Currently they are extending the school with five new classrooms, to ‘set an example for all Fiji schools’.

Potential impact:

  • Crossroads shipment will provide equipment to fill five new classrooms. Most of what they have requested is not available in Fiji or not affordable for the school
  • The new rooms will be used to train students in new topics, like Economics, digital design, wood and metalwork and much more

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-4Laisani (left), a Form 3 student, was badly burnt when the kerosene stove exploded at her home. Her family was reluctant to seek medical help for her as the traditional medicine man threatened to put a curse on the family. Laisani badly needed medical treatment, so staff from the school visited Laisani and her parents. The care and concern of teachers and students gave Laisani the courage to continue with her studies despite the disfigurement from her injuries. She is now healing well.

 

 

 


S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-3Virisila (left) is a sensitive and compassionate student, gifted in music and dance, but violence at home made it hard for her to concentrate at school. Her father was constantly angry and wouldn’t give permission for her to take part in extra-school activities. She asked a teacher and volunteer to visit her family and talk to her father. When they came, Virisila’s father had the opportunity, for the first time ever, to tell his story in front of his family. He had experienced a lifetime of rejection, emotional deprivation and pain. The father asked how he could find peace and relief from the anger he felt. A time of family forgiveness and healing followed. Now, Virisila feels greater self-confidence, an increased ability to concentrate and a desire to succeed. The entire family is happier and healthier, thanks to reconciliation efforts of her school.

Shipment includes:

  • Computer equipment
  • Calculators, powder paint, cooking pots, acoustic guitars, school chairs and more

This shipment will include furniture and equipment to help give a rich, holistic education to vulnerable Fijian children.

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Fiji Snapshot

Population: around 850,000
Capital: Suva
Population living below the national poverty line of US$3.3 per day: 45%

Compared to its neighbours, Fiji is relatively well developed, though it is the 61st poorest country in the world, comparable with the Philippines.

Fiji consists of 332 islands, of which 110 are inhabited.

Fiji’s main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name “Fiji” is derived.

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-11

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

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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.

 

 


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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.

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Donate to a shipment like this one.

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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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