SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

The Democratic Republic of Congo has a recent history marred by civil war and conflict. Although the violence has lessened in recent years, the war has already claimed an estimated six million lives through fighting, disease and malnutrition. The severe and wide-reaching impact of the conflict means that DR Congo is ranked just 176 out of 189 on the Human Development index, and access to vital services such as healthcare and education are seriously lacking for many communities.

Our NGO partners in the region have been working to overcome some of the challenges faced by the people in their region of DR Congo. They run food security programmes, vocational training schemes and HIV/AIDS prevention classes, and coordinate capacity building support for local community organisations. Furthermore, they provide assistance to local health clinics and hospitals to ensure that adequate healthcare facilities are available to all.

“The goods have brought relief to the populations we serve, and we thank you very much for the medical, school and office equipment” – NGO Director

Included in this shipment was a wide variety of goods, reflecting the needs of the many different programmes that our partners run. Some of those goods included:

  • Toys and games for distribution to local schools
  • Education supplies, such as books and stationary
  • Clothes, shoes and basic household necessities, to support the most vulnerable families
  • Furniture and office equipment, for use in schools, health centres and our partners offices
  • White goods, such as fridges, washing machines, microwaves and fryers, to allow for the updating of facilities used by local communities

(Above 1st pic) Medical staff excited to receive goods from the shipment which will support their health centre. (Above 2nd pic) Medical staff celebrate the arrival of new hospital beds at their clinic.

(Above) Clothes are distributed amongst vulnerable members of the local community.

(Above) New fridges are installed in one of the community organisation buildings.

The goods that were sent all have the potential to produce long-lasting and profound impacts on the lives of those who benefit from them. We, our partners, and the local communities that have received these goods, are all grateful.

Reference No. : S3311

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Our shipment to DR Congo went to a group working very hard to serve communities in an area experiencing this kind of conflict. Even distributing the goods was a challenge, as they found some villages empty of people who had escaped to another region seeking safety. Thankfully, once there, they were able to distribute clothes and other relief goods from Crossroads’ shipment.

“All over our district, there was no library because of lack of books, but with the arrival of the shipment, things changed.  This is now the first library to be established here since the war began.” – NGO staff

Despite the odds, this group is having strategic impact with various projects. Furniture and household goods from our shipment are helping set up a centre where people who have seen decades of violence and grief can meet, sharing their stories of trauma, for healing. A refrigerator we sent is preserving blood and other essentials. Prior to this, it was hard for them to get blood for transfusions, but “with a fridge, the blood is now made available and the community so much helped”. Tools we sent have created jobs for 50 youth, now working as painters.

“Before the shipment arrived, it was difficult to make blood available for transfusions. Now, with the fridge, blood can be made available and the community is greatly helped.” – NGO staff

They told us how hospital beds we sent, now being used for mothers who’ve just given birth, “were so beautiful that the health centre manager felt obliged to repaint the room to fit with the beds”!

New mothers in this maternity ward are now far more comfortable and in more hygienic conditions when they give birth and recover, after beds and mattresses from the shipment equipped the ward.

Finally, they told us that books from the shipment have filled the community’s first library since the most recent war began, and fabrics and sewing machines are helping train people in valuable tailoring skills.

We are so grateful to the volunteers and sponsors who contributed to this shipment, helping war-torn villages in DR Congo not just with their immediate needs for care and safety, but with their needs for employment, better healthcare, and education for a sustainable future.


HOW THE GOODS ARE CHANGING LIVES

  • Nearly 3,000 people displaced by war received relief goods like clothing, bedding and household items.
  • Embroidery machines from the shipment helped set up a tailoring workshop that now generates US$280 a month for community youth.
  • A large quantity of fabric made a double impact. First, it has been useful for training tailoring students, and secondly, the clothes made by these students can now be given to disadvantaged women in need of clothin
  • 50 young men, some of them returned soldiers desperately in need of skills and employment, have been trained in painting skills using painting tools from the shipment.
  • Furniture and other goods from the shipment helped establish a health and community service centre. One of this centre’s activities is a group therapy session, where elderly people who are living with trauma from the war can share their stories and receive support. “These people often feel excluded by the community,” said our partners.

Survivors of war-related violence and rape are often stigmatised as well as traumatised once the conflict has passed. Our partners run group therapy and story-telling groups to help communities affected by war, like these women survivors of sexual abuse (Above 1st pic), and returned child soldiers (Above 2nd pic). They also ensure that women can access medical help for injuries and diseases acquired through rape or other violence. Goods from Crossroads’ shipment such as furniture and household appliances are helping in these projects.

  • Families who received school books and uniforms, now feel better able to keep their children in school. Even though fees are low, ranging from US$2 to $15 per month, it can be difficult for many poor families to find the funds. “Any reduction in the cost of social services because of goods from this shipment makes a big change to the lives of these families,” said staff.
  • Educational text books and other books helped set up the first library in the district since the war began in 1996. This library is now being accessed daily by children, adults and researchers from surrounding communities.
  • Computers from the shipment are now being used to upgrade our partners’ administration offices, and for a community internet café, where most people would have no access to the internet or a computer at home.
  • Hospital equipment from the shipment saved our partners $5,200. Now they have been able to redirect some of that money saved to school sponsorships for 210 orphans and 28 children from poor families, as well as helping 180 malnourished children through their feeding programme.
  • Chairs and other furniture from the shipment have saved our partners nearly $1,000 per year that they used to spend renting chairs for seminars and community events.

Reference No.: S3993

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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History says that the most recent war in DR Congo ended in 2003, but those on the ground live with a different reality, especially the ones in the nation’s East. Here, there are still pockets of brutal violence, where families are fleeing their homes at a moment’s notice, loved ones are slaughtered and rape is wielded as a weapon of war.

Pendeze, a young Congolese woman, lives in one of these communities. She can speak to the ongoing conflict from bitter, firsthand experience. When she was a teenager, Pendeze and her family were forced from their home during an attack. They tried to hide in the bush, but soldiers found the family and killed Pendeze’s mother and father in front of her. It left a deep, open scar on Pendeze’s young heart and she longed for revenge. She joined a rebel group and fought as a soldier while still in her teens, until finally, she had the opportunity to return home.  As with so many child soldiers, though, she found ‘home’ no longer existed. The warm faces of family and the close community she had known had been destroyed. She had to rebuild life from scratch. In this, she was helped by one of our partners, on the ground.

Despite the odds, this group has developed several strategic arms of support. They have created a refuge which our shipment helped furnish. In this haven, people can meet, finding healing after their years, even decades of trauma, including the sexual abuse which so typically marks these conflicts.

Our shipment also helped equip a medical centre. Hospital beds we sent are being used for new mothers and are, they told us, “so beautiful that the health centre manager felt obliged to repaint the room to fit with the beds”! Even the provision of something as simple as refrigeration played a role.  Prior to this, it was hard for them to get blood for transfusions, but “with a fridge, the blood is now made available and the community so much helped”. That refrigeration also permits then to store medicine which needs temperature control.

Tools in the shipment created jobs for 50 youth, now able to find work as painters.  In a war zone, a reliable job, even a basic one, helps anchor lives.

Books in our shipment filled the community’s first library since the start of the most recent conflict.

Finally, fabric and sewing machines from Crossroads have helped train people in valuable tailoring skills. Pendeze, the young woman whose life was devastated by her suffering, is herself one of the tailoring school’s success stories. She now runs her own business, and owns two sewing machines. She’s a walking example of hope, and how a shattered life can be healed and begin again.

Our partners are seeing many, many more follow in her footsteps, following the arrival of our shipment. They estimate that the goods we were privileged to send have impacted more than 4,000 people directly, and more than 10,000 indirectly.

 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Feedback Story

Read how this shipment impacted the people in Iraq:

READ THE STORY

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Changing lives through training

Sango is an orphan in the Congo, Africa, whose life could have turned out very differently. Without parents to support him, Sango missed out on school entirely. He never learnt to read or write, or do more than the basic maths he picked up on the streets of his town.

Congo_2A local NGO gave Sango the opportunity to enroll in their programs, and even having missed out on a primary and secondary education, he trained in carpentry and soon became a qualified carpenter. The NGO gave him the carpentry equipment he needed to start a small business, and today Sango is married, and earning an income to support his family.The NGO’s most successful programs is a training centre for widows, young adult orphans and other vulnerable people, where they teach job skills and equip trainees with the things they need to start earning a living.
To support their work against poverty, Crossroads is shipping a container of things like furniture, household and electrical goods, clothing to distribute to the poorest in the community, school and sports supplies for their work with children and youth, and much more. Helping change lives through training!


 


A9

Mrs Makiwa, was poor and vulnerable, but for a different reason. Mrs Makiwa’s husband died, leaving her without the means to earn more than a tiny subsistence income, and terrified for her children’s future.Mrs Makiwa trained in the NGO’s programs and was given a sewing machine to begin a tailoring business. Now, instead of living a hand-to-mouth existence as a poor widow, Mrs Makiwa is able to earn enough to take care of her children’s education and health needs, living together as a family.

This shipment will include furniture, to continue to train widows like Mrs Makiwa a chance to earn for her family and overcome poverty in DR Congo.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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DR Congo Snapshot

Population: 77.43 million
Capital: Kinshasa

DR Congo is located in central sub-Saharan Africa, straddling the equator. It experiences the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world with a tropical climate.

Although, one of the most resource rich nations in the world,  74% of people in DR Congo live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day, one of the highest rates in the world.

A11

Mubalama, a small boy living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, suffered tragedy before he had even reached school age.

His father was a soldier in the Congo’s brutal civil war, which still affects parts of the nation today, and he was killed when Mubalama was still only around 5 years old.

His father’s death meant the death of the family’s income, and their stability. Mubalama faced a bleak and uncertain future.

Congo_child

A school run by a local NGO discovered Mubalama and accepted him into their program for underprivileged children. “He was very little when we found him,” they told us, “and he had no shoes.”

After just three years at the school, Mubalama is a changed child. Healthy, and well-fed, under their feeding program, he is filled with hope and enthusiasm for learning. “His dream is to become the next president of DR Congo!” the agency told us.

It was children like Mubalama that we had in mind when we saw the joyful feedback photos from one partner in DR Congo who received a shipment from Crossroads, filled with goods like clothing, shoes, furniture and equipment to help them serve impoverished communities.

Congo_children_receives_new_toys

Much more than simply goods, the items were an injection of hope to this region where people have struggled so much.

“Your help was very great to us and helped us so much in all ways,” wrote a local Congolese staff member. “This has brought unity and peace in our community.”

Want to sponsor a shipment?

Visit crf-hk.preview.strattic.io/our-needs/be-a-star to browse sponsorship opportunities, including shipments waiting for funding.

Want to receive a shipment?

Can we help your NGO with donated goods to equip your work? Click here: crf-hk.preview.strattic.io/requestgoods

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Give Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

DONATE MONEY

Donate Goods!

Want to donate goods for a shipment like this one?

DONATE GOODS

DR Congo Snapshot

Population: 77.43 million
Capital: Kinshasa

DR Congo is located in central sub-Saharan Africa, straddling the equator. It experiences the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world with a tropical climate.

Although, one of the most resource rich nations in the world,  74% of people in DR Congo live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day, one of the highest rates in the world.

A11

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