Covid-19 has brought logistical challenges to our international shipments. With the help of our financial supporters, volunteers and goods donors, though, we’ve still been active in sending shipments of goods around the world through this difficult period.

In fact, many of our partners have said it’s been more valuable than ever to have Crossroads’ support this year. They’re see their communities struggle to keep their communities safe without proper resources, and people growing poorer from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

This year we’ve sent shipments to nations including Moldova, Cameroon, Syria, Liberia, Thailand, Sierra Leone, Benin, Ukraine and Malawi, and more. Read below for just a sample of the impact that goods sent in 2020 are already making!

Sierra Leone: Latex gloves from Crossroads’ shipment are helping in our partners’ Covid-19 prevention work, as they join the fight to keep their local communities safe.

Ukraine: Health clinics in a remote rural region received computers to modernise their patient management systems, as well as other goods to equip their facilities. Many clinics in this region are seriously under-resourced, making it difficult to adequately care for patients.

Guinea: Educational supplies from Crossroads are equipping literacy centres, where our partners train ‘peer educators’ to become literacy teachers in their own communities.

Thailand: Computers have helped set up an IT room for refugee children on the Thai-Burma border, where our partners are giving vulnerable children a quality education.

You can follow our ongoing schedule of international shipments at this link.

Want to sponsor a shipment?

We’re seeking sponsors for a number of international shipments. Every $100 you donate can ship $900 worth of quality goods to communities in need! Visit this page to donate, or email enquiries@crossroads.org.hk to hear more about shipments that need sponsors.

Want to help load a shipment?

We always need muscle to help load our shipments! Email volunteer@crossroads.org.hk to find out which upcoming shipments need your help to load.

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“The situation is bad…there is no tourism at all. Locally, business has totally stopped. We worry about what awaits us in the coming months if the situation will remain the same. Our people will suffer from a shortage of food, medicine.”

These words above came from friends in Bethlehem, whose handicrafts made by traditional carpenters (pictured above) we sell in our Global Handicrafts shop. They’re not unique, though. They represent a heart’s cry which is coming at us from all corners of the world. When the pandemic started spreading globally, we started talking to our partners – fair trade producers, shipment consignees, long-time friends – and all, regardless of their field of work, were telling a tragically similar story. As soon as the crisis hit, these communities were reduced to the bare bones of survival. They needed food, and they needed money to stay above water, let alone care for those who were now battling the infection.

We knew that shipping food halfway across the world from Hong Kong may not be the most efficient way to help. We also knew that Crossroads would not be able to send money of our own. In fact, money has been a particular challenge for Crossroads, too, during Covid-19.

We could do two things, however. First, we could be a voice. Our Global X-perience team was looking right then to find new ways to envision people, during a time when we couldn’t host visitors at our site. So, they produced online videos telling the stories of these suffering friends. Second, we set up an appeal for money so we could quickly and efficiently channel funds to Covid-19 affected communities and use the videos to ask for contributions. We sent money from that fund to several groups who had shared their needs. Now, we’re hearing back about how it’s lifting just some of the burden.

In Northern Uganda, where formal employment is already in single digits, an injection of funds allowed our friends to provide food for extremely vulnerable families struggling through the economic impact of Covid.

In Bethlehem, the funds are helping our fair trade producer partners there stay operational, as traditional carpenters face the instant drying up of their livelihood without a flow of tourists. “Thanks a lot for your hard work,” they said. “The amount will help us to keep on with our missions, this is highly appreciated…”

In Thailand, our partners work with people who are often forced to work in the red light districts of Pattaya. Funds from Crossroads purchased food packs (pictured above) for women who’ve suddenly had their livelihood cut off. “Wonderful news that you want to contribute to the food bags!” came the excited reply when some of our staff offered financial help. “The food distribution is still going on as the need is still huge. More and more people are losing their jobs because there are no tourists here and bars, shops and restaurants are closing all around us.”

More of the relief fund has been shared with partners in places like Nigeria and the Thai-Burma border. As always, difficult times like these affect the poorest and the most vulnerable the most deeply. A recent World Bank report said that this pandemic could push between 71 – 100 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. It would be the first increase in global extreme poverty since 1998.

Want to give funds to help during Covid-19?

You can help relieve the burden of economic hardship hitting those in poverty during Covid-19. Click here to donate. We’re also looking for sustaining donors to help Crossroads continue to serve throughout this challenging time. You can join our team of champions who help make this work possible! Click here to read more about becoming a sustaining donor.

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Trying to do school online can be an uphill battle for children from low-income families, like Jiahui, who’s just starting Form 6 in Hong Kong. Jiahui’s family income is just enough to cover rent and essentials. It’s simply not enough to stretch to buying a new computer for Jiahui to learn from home. In a Mingpao article featuring Crossroads, Jiahui said that during the Covid-19 school closures, she struggled to manage online classes using just her small mobile phone screen,  until she received her own donated computer. Now, she says, studying is five times more effective than it was before.

Across the city, thousands of grassroots Hong Kong students are at an instant disadvantage when schools close and lessons go online. Together with our partners, we’re helping close that gap for students like Jiahui. With significant support from partners like the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and Microsoft, as well as companies who both donated computers and volunteered to process them, Crossroads’ computer team has prepared and given out more than 600 computers to Hong Kong students in need throughout the Covid-19 school closures.

Hang Seng Bank, who also donated computers for the campaign (picture above), sent volunteers from their company to help process and format the donated computers for students.

We’re hugely grateful to volunteer services Hands On Hong Kong, Easyvolunteer.hk and Social Career, who were all strategic in helping source individual and corporate volunteers from organisations like Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (pictured above), fast-tracking the process.

Want to help Hong Kong students in need?

If you or your company has computers to donate for students in need, we’d love to hear from you! Visit www.goodcity.hk to donate or email enquiries@crossroads.org.hk to discuss.

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“War, poverty, refugees, modern-day slavery. Many people look at global issues, and long to see change occur. But can one person’s life really make a difference? Yes!”
David Begbie, Director of Crossroads’ Global X-perience

It was a mighty goal: running a full-day conference for 180 students and staff at a large international school in Beijing, with workshops, talks from international experts and complex discussions. Crossroads’ Global X-perience team was planning to travel and be there in person, until Covid hit and the entire event changed course to an online conference.

Our team worked closely with teachers to deliver the conference with interactive elements across the day. Spokesman David Begbie addressed the whole school (pictured above), as well as doing a live Q&A, and they showed personalised video talks from speakers like former child soldier David Livingstone and peace campaigner and author Zak Ebrahim. The students and teachers workshopped together on ways that they could engage with these urgent issues.

“Students were captivated by the speakers, participated with lots of passion during the discussion portion and had some great questions during the Q&A,” said the coordinating teacher. She said that the students are now fired up and keen to take action, ready to incorporate what they’ve learnt into their major projects for the year.

In these unpredictable times, schools are having to pivot to new and uncharted ways of learning. Crossroads is here to help.

Online and offline options

As of October 2020, we are taking bookings once more for some of our experiential simulations, with limitations around Covid-19 health and safety. However, we can also help your students can engage with important world issues online. Email globalx@crossroads.org.hk to talk!

Video resources

We’ve also prepared a range of videos on issues of poverty, which you can use freely in classrooms here:

How has Covid-19 impacted orphans, refugees and children at risk around the world?

How is Covid-19 affecting fair trade producers?

How is COVID-19 affecting people in poverty?

The challenge of water access around the world

For younger children, we’ve taken our Silk Road Storytime sessions online! You are welcome to use the videos at the links below, which include stories and crafts that encourage preschoolers to be empathetic global citizens:

Crossroads Silk Road Storytime – The Magic Paintbrush

Crossroads Silk Road Storytime – Biblioburro

Crossroads Silk Road Storytime – Circles of Hope

Crossroads Silk Road Story Time – One Hen

Crossroads Silk Road Story Time: The Colour of Home

Crossroads Silk Road Story Time – The Snail and the Whale

Want to talk further?

Start the conversation about how we can help your school connect with a world in need. Email globalx@crossroads.org.hk

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 ...

Battling Covid-19 together

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

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