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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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Cameroon is ranked just 151 out of 189 on the Human Development Index and struggles with a number of challenges. Across the country there is limited access to healthcare and education facilities, particularly in rural areas. Economic development has been slow, and poor infrastructure prevents many communities from accessing the services that they need. Making the situation more difficult is the increasing tension and violence in Cameroon’s English speaking regions, where escalating conflict has led to the displacement of many thousands of people.

Our NGO partners in Cameroon work tirelessly across a number of fronts to help alleviate the difficulties faced by communities there. They run schooling projects including a computer training centre, support orphanages in the care of children, lead poverty reduction schemes in several areas, and work with women to empower them with the skills they need to find employment. The work that our partners carry out reaches many local communities in Cameroon, and they estimate that the goods they received in this shipment will directly benefit some 10,000 people in the coming years.

“Since we received these items, there has been a different atmosphere in our school. It has led to increased productivity and ensured we were awarded a high score in the First School Living Certificate” – Beneficiary School

(Above) New desks and chairs, donated from Hong Kong, have transformed teaching and learning for rural students.

(Above) Teachers’ offices were equipped with new computers and printers.

 

The goods sent in this shipment have been impactful in many ways, here are just a few key examples:

  • Hospital items were distributed to an undersupplied clinic, saving them around US$12,000
  • Chairs, desks, office supplies and canteen equipment were given to a local primary school, saving them roughly US$30,000 and allowing for the construction of two new classrooms
  • New computers allowed for the expansion of our partners training centre, increasing their intake from 700 to 1500 students

 

The goods that were received in this shipment will continue to have an impact on people’s lives for many years to come, and have proven even more vital in the context of Cameroon’s current tensions. We, our NGO partners, and the beneficiaries are all very grateful for your kind donations and support.


FURTHER PHOTOS OF IMPACT

 

 

 

 

“Over 1,600 pupils have benefited from the books and other school equipment in Yaounde and over 3,000 in the South West Region.”      NGO Director

Reference No. : S3048

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Only 42% of The Gambia’s adult population are literate and poor access to education continues to hamper development efforts. Ranking just 174 out of 189 on the Human Development Index, The Gambia struggles with a lack of arable land for farming and from a shortage of employment opportunities for young people. Schools in The Gambia are often difficult to access for many people, and the resources and equipment they need are often lacking. As a result of this as many as one in four children drops out of primary school with only 35% acquiring any secondary education.

Our NGO partners in the region are determined to improve education in The Gambia. Since 2006 they have been sponsoring children to attend school right through from nursery to senior secondary level, and have been working with schools, students, and their families, to help improve facilities and provide the resources and equipment they need to succeed.

“It brings us great happiness to see smiles on the faces of people because of what they have received through Crossroads” – NGO director

(Above) Materials for clothes are received by students’ families.

The goods that were sent in this shipment have been used to support the work and development of a number of schools in The Gambia. Our partners estimate that, by improving school supplies and materials, these goods have directed benefitted almost 600 students, and will go on to provide a benefit to many more in the future. Here are just a few things that were possible because of this shipment:

  • Desks and chairs have relieved the worry of students having to bring their own furniture to school.
  • Writing materials at school have saved families the cost of purchasing supplies themselves.
  • Clothing and bags have ensured children are fully prepared and equipped for classes.
  • Textbooks have improved the curriculum on offer at the secondary education level.

(Above) Students take a first look at their new desks and chairs.

(Above) Families and teachers with goods from the shipment.

(Above) New chairs are set out, ready to be taken to classrooms.

Reference No. S4093A

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Along the border between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) there are nine camps housing more than 93,000 refugees, mostly from ethnic minorities such as the Karen group. They are living in a desperate state of limbo. Without proper papers, refugee children here can’t attend school or even travel to larger cities once they’re older, meaning they grow up stuck in the same poverty cycle they were born into. They are extremely vulnerable to disease, violence, rape, drug abuse and human trafficking.

Crossroads has been partnering with an NGO working at Mae Sot, near the largest of these border refugee camps. Knowing that children here can’t access formal schooling, they started their own schools – four so far – where children are given love, attention and a quality education. While basic and in desperate need of resources, these schools provide a place where the children are safe and protected, and where they can access a level of education otherwise out of their reach. They are excited to be constructing a new school building, creating a more secure environment to care for children from families who work at the nearby rubbish dump. They have the space now, but are seeking the equipment and furniture to fill it.

Crossroads is preparing a shipment of goods to bring the school buildings to life and equip other parts of their work with refugee families. We hope to include goods like school and office furniture, clothing and shoes, computers, appliances, beds and more.


A safe haven for orphaned refugee children

Some of the goods from this shipment will furnish a dormitory building (pictured left, under construction) for orphaned refugee students at our partners’ school.

Sadly, some have suffered abuse or are at high risk of abuse, being alone and vulnerable. This new building will create a safer place for them to live while they study.

 


Despite scarce resources, our partners’ schools are places of hope and joy, where each child is given care, attention, and an education.

More than 100 migrant and refugee families live on this rubbish dump in Mae Sot, where they collect plastic to sell for a few cents a kilogram.


Reference No : S5507

The school by the dump

For students at our partners’ newest school, an education could mean breaking out of a life sifting through trash. Most of these children live with their families at the Mae Sot rubbish dump, where people sort and collect pieces of discarded plastic and other trash to sell to earn a living.

“Children here have nothing to do,” wrote staff. “Young girls that stay home with nothing to do are often raped by men that are drunk. They need education.”

We are looking forward to supplying the school with a huge amount of needed goods through this shipment, such as furniture, computers, clothing, recreational equipment and other goods.

Thailand snapshot

Population: 69.4 million
Capital: Bangkok
Official languages: Thai
Language spoken in Mae Sot refugee camp: Karen and other dialects

In recent decades, Thailand’s economy has grown at a remarkable rate, reducing poverty from 67% to below 10% in just 30 years. Rural areas and certain communities, like the refugees living along the Burma border, though, have not benefited in the same way as the urban population. Refugees in the border camps are living in desperate poverty, with very little hope of improving their circumstances.
Sources: UNHCR, World Bank

 

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

The Ukraine is one of Europe’s poorest nations and has particularly struggled in recent years with a recession and conflict. When it comes to funding and upgrading hospitals and schools in Ukraine, the smaller towns and villages are often left behind.

Crossroads has partnered with an organisation in the Ukraine with projects in health, education and care for people with special needs, particularly those in villages that may otherwise miss out on essential services. Our first shipment included goods like computers for health clinics, school furniture for village schools that had not been upgraded in 40 years, and heaters for health centres whose patients had been struggling through extremely cold winters without adequate heating. A second shipment was filled with high quality hospital beds that are now in use in rural areas where beds were previously extremely basic and badly in need of replacement.=

This third shipment is, once again, helping invest in a rural region, with goods to equip health care and education. “This region is very poor, and still needs long-term cooperation in receiving aid for medical institutions, and schools,” they wrote. They asked for goods including electrical appliances and heaters for midwifery centres, computers and flooring for village schools, and health supplies for rural health posts.

Thank you for helping us improve services and care for those in need in Ukraine.


Hospital beds: before and after

Health posts in rural Ukraine are essential to the villages they serve. Without them, residents would need to travel up to 70km to the nearest hospital for treatment. Sadly, though, many of the hardworking health workers in these rural posts battle to do their job using very outdated equipment, and with inadequate supplies. We have been privileged to invest in some of these clinics with high quality donated goods, like the hospital beds pictured below, which have upgraded old, basic beds like the one pictured above. “The goods from the previous shipment were perfect and made a great impact on quality of life and services,” wrote our partners. We are excited to be preparing another shipment that will be another boost to their health and education projects.


Donated computers from a previous Crossroads shipment to these partners helped this Ukranian hospital digitise their patient records.

Now they’re able to better serve their community of 25 villages. This next shipment will include furniture, office equipment and more goods that help staff battling to serve their clients with inadequate resources.


Winters can be bitterly cold in the Ukraine, making it especially difficult to operate healthcare services without proper heating and equipment.

School furniture from Crossroads’ last shipment to the Ukraine equipped this small village school. Our partners wrote that most equipment in schools in this region is more than 40 years old, and badly in need of replacement. Our upcoming shipment will include more goods for village schools.


Reference No : S4642C

Ukraine snapshot

Capital: Kiev
Population: 42.3 million

Major languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian

Ukraine has been in a near-permanent state of transition since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The western part of the country seeks closer ties with Europe while the east prefers to retain its ties to Russia. The result is constant upheaval resulting in economic turmoil and occasional unrest.

Unemployment is on the rise and the dependence on the global steel market for exports makes for an uncertain future.  Life is a struggle for many, especially those in rural areas.

SOURCE: BBC-Country profile/WB

 

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Sierra Leone has faced multiple tragedies in recent decades, and our partners on this shipment have been walking with those suffering, every step of the way. During the 11 years of war in Sierra Leone, they helped more than 600 displaced people with medical care, food, clothes and counselling. When entire villages were burnt, they helped rebuild homes. When Ebola devastated the nation in 2014, killing thousands, our partners supported impoverished families with food packs and nutritional care to help people stay as healthy as possible. Then, in 2017 when mudslides caused the deaths of 1,000 people and displaced 3,000, they were there yet again, with relief goods and educational support for children who had been evacuated (see story below).

As well as responding to disasters, these partners know that through education, training and job creation, communities become stronger and more resilient to future disasters. “People can’t afford their basic needs, like clothes or shoes. They eat whatever they raise for the day, with nothing in reserve,” they wrote. Their projects aim to move vulnerable communities from this subsistence lifestyle to a more sustainable one. They have four primary schools, a secondary school and a job skills training centre, as well as a computer school for underprivileged youth and a health clinic. They have asked for goods to equip all their projects, including computers, furniture, clothing and educational supplies and equipment.


Aminata’s story

Nearly 4,000 people died in Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, leaving broken and traumatised families behind. Aminata’s was one of them. When both Aminata’s parents died of Ebola, it left her the head of her small household. Suddenly, she and her three siblings had nobody to care for them. They became homeless and dropped out of school, not knowing what the future might hold.

Our partners met Aminata and came alongside her. She wanted to get a job so that her brother and two sisters, at least, could return to school and finish their education. Staff helped Aminata start a small restaurant business where, over time, she has been so successful that she is not just supporting her own siblings, but is able to help other young girls who were once vulnerable like herself.

Aminata’s is just one of many stories  showing how these partners consistently look for the needs of individuals and groups in their community, and find solutions that lead to more sustainable futures.

We are pleased to be shipping goods to help in the administration of their outreach programmes intervening in the lives of more families like Aminata’s.


A new school for flood evacuees
In 2017, Sierra Leone made headlines when severe mudslides and flooding killed over 1,000 people and left 3,000 homeless. Our partners leapt into action, offering food and other immediate aid to people who had lost everything.

Then, as villagers began to move into new homes provided by the government, they saw that there was no school for children of evacuated families. They rallied support through their network, and successfully built a new school, now home to 250 students.

Goods from this shipment will help our partners respond quickly when disasters hit, with both immediate relief and longer term support.


Flooding, landslides, disease and conflict have all taken their toll on Sierra Leonean communities. Our partners are well-placed to give immediate help in times of disaster, but also run schools and training projects that are helping  equip children and young people to find more stable employment and build stronger communities.


Reference No : S5199

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Donate to a shipment like this one.

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Sierra Leone snapshot

Population: 7.6 million
Capital: Freetown
Main languages: English (official), Mende, Temne, Krio

Sierra Leone is situated on the Atlantic coast in West Africa. It has a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. The country is rich in resources but economically impoverished, with 60% living below the national poverty line. The country was devastated by a civil war which destroyed much of the infrastructure and, more recently, struck by the Ebola outbreak causing another humanitarian crisis. 70% of youth are unemployed or underemployed.
Source: UNDP

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Cameroon is ranked just 151 out of 189 on the Human Development Index and struggles with a number of challenges. Across the country there is limited access to healthcare and education facilities, particularly in rural areas. Economic development has been slow, and poor infrastructure prevents many communities from accessing the services that they need. Making the situation more difficult is the increasing tension and violence in Cameroon’s English speaking regions, where escalating conflict has led to the displacement of many thousands of people.

Our NGO partners in Cameroon work tirelessly across a number of fronts to help alleviate the difficulties faced by communities there. They run schooling projects including a computer training centre, support orphanages in the care of children, lead poverty reduction schemes in several areas, and work with women to empower them with the skills they need to find employment. The work that our partners carry out reaches many local communities in Cameroon, and they estimate that the goods they received in this shipment will directly benefit some 10,000 people in the coming years.

“Since we received these items, there has been a different atmosphere in our school. It has led to increased productivity and ensured we were awarded a high score in the First School Living Certificate”– Beneficiary School

(Above) New desks and chairs, donated from Hong Kong, have transformed teaching and learning for rural students.

(Above) Teachers’ offices were equipped with new computers and printers.

The goods sent in this shipment have been impactful in many ways, here are just a few key examples:

  • Hospital items were distributed to an undersupplied clinic, saving them around US$12,000
  • Chairs, desks, office supplies and canteen equipment were given to a local primary school, saving them roughly US$30,000 and allowing for the construction of two new classrooms
  • New computers allowed for the expansion of our partners training centre, increasing their intake from 700 to 1500 students

The goods that were received in this shipment will continue to have an impact on people’s lives for many years to come, and have proven even more vital in the context of Cameroon’s current tensions. We, our NGO partners, and the beneficiaries are all very grateful for your kind donations and support.


FURTHER PHOTOS OF IMPACT

Reference No. S4369

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Despite its political stability and cultural vibrancy, Benin remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Ranking just 163 out of 189 on the Human Development Index, Benin suffers from severe underdevelopment and has unemployment rates as high as 70% amongst its young people. In many of the country’s village communities the poverty and illiteracy rates are around 60% and, with poor access to education and skills training, it is very difficult for people to break out of the poverty cycle.

Our NGO partners in the region coordinate a wide range of programmes designed to tackle the challenges faced by Benin’s poorest communities. Through supporting local schools, providing skills training to unemployed women, organising community literacy classes, and distributed much needed necessities such as clothing and bedding, our partners are working tirelessly to address the issue of poverty head-on. Their major focus is on improving access to education, as they believe that by equipping people with new skills they can empower them to pursue new opportunities and can break the poverty cycle.

“The most significant impact of the shipment is the reduction of grinding poverty, especially in poor communities and villages”– NGO Director

(Above) A man with training receives a new computer, allowing him to open a small IT services business.

The goods that were delivered in this shipment have supported the work of our partners across many of their programmes. Here are just a few examples of the impacts that they have had:

  • Classroom furniture has been donated to local schools, modernising facilities and improving the quality of their learning environments
  • Computers have been distributed to individuals who have the training to use them, allowing them to start their own small businesses and enterprises
  • Hospital beds and medical mattresses have improved the standard of care at local health centres, providing for a local population of over 7500 people
  • Toys and games were distributed at Christmas to children in the poorest communities where our partners work

(Above) Tables, chairs and kitchen utensils from the shipment, kick-started a restaurant business for this woman, who is now able to support herself with the income

(Above) A student in our partners’ educational support projects received a new desk and school kit, allowing her to continue her studies at secondary school.

The goods received in this shipment have already directly impacted an estimated 4,600 people directly, and over 10,000 indirectly. With their long life-span and careful distribution the items received by the beneficiaries in Benin will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of many people for years to come.


FURTHER IMPACT

“As a result of the shipment, we were able to contribute to a new market in a poor community. The clean water and electricity which provide this market also serve the immediate neighborhood. Thanks to this, an additional 1250 people now have access to clean water and electricity in their homes” – NGO Director

Most residents in our partners’ target communities are struggling with poverty, making it difficult to get ahead or support their families. Basic goods like furniture, clothing, electrical equipment and others can have a remarkable impact on their quality of life, like one teacher (Above 1st pic) who received a mobile phone that he can now use to stay in touch with family members living in other towns.

(Above 2nd pic) New chairs will allow this women to invite friends and family over to her home, where previously she had nowhere for them to sit.

(Above) Recreational and sports equipment from the shipment have enriched youth sports projects.

Reference No. : S2446

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IMG_0016In Northern Uganda, a small nursery school is a haven of peace and fun for little children who would otherwise be simply playing in the dirt. The villages in this war-torn area have suffered immeasurably over the years, and the people still battle with problems of HIV/AIDS and huge unemployment, but they are now trying to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Parents have hopes for their children beyond the subsistence farming they themselves have experienced. This nursery school received a shipment from Crossroads in 2008, receiving goods which transformed the lives of many children. They currently have 72 children attending.

 

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As the children have grown, the school is now ready to open a primary school, and have asked Crossroads for books, computers, school furniture and uniforms, plus the equipment necessary for a first aid room. They are also looking to start vocational skills training for older pupils, and have asked for tools, sewing machines and other items to help with this.

 

IMG_0093

 

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We hope that with an injection of further goods from Crossroads, these children happily playing with toys provided in the last container will have a more secure future education and the route to a better life.

 

 

 


Shipment includes:

  •  Stationery, Computers, books, uniforms, school & office furniture to equip the new primary school
  •  Medical equipment for first aid, and items for vocational skills training.

 

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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