As refugee families battle for survival with the ongoing conflict in Syria, education is one of the greatest casualties. While living in Syria, prior to the fighting, many refugees had professional careers and their children looked forward to the same. Now, however, gifted young people watch their career aspirations fade as education moves beyond their reach. The Basmeh and Zeitooneh’s Women’s Workshop in Shatila refugee camp trains 120 Palestinian and Syrian refugee women in embroidery and in crochet, allowing them an opportunity to sell their production and earn an income with dignity. This is allowing mothers to put their children in school. We are selling their embroidery in our marketplace. Every piece helps another woman and, very often, another child.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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The deaf population of China numbers around 72 million.  Since the majority of deaf young people are unable to find adequate employment, many turn to gangs, theft, and drugs. In an effort to curb this growing trend, Hearts & Hands offers employment to deaf people in the handicrafts business. All the workers are disabled or deaf, and they are each able to learn useful skills while working in a friendly, encouraging environment. Thank you for offering your support to these people and giving them the hope they need!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

SHOP

China Snapshot

Population: 1.35 billion

Capital: Beijing

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 11%, or 157 million people

China is experiencing rapid economic growth, but the benefits have not reached millions of people in rural areas. People who are already poor are the most vulnerable to death, injury and loss of livelihood when floods and earthquakes hit.

Natural disasters in China affect more than 200 million people every year.

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Meiman, of China, knows the meaning of fair trade first hand. For almost a year, Meiman worked in a large factory far away from her hometown. The hours were long and after eight months she started to suffer serious health problems. It was then that Meiman knew she wanted to go back to the job she had held before: working as a seamstress for China Ethnic Crafts, a small handicrafts enterprise in Hunan.

“They not only took me back and welcomed me,”said Meiman, “they were also willing to adjust my work duties to help with my health issues.”

China Ethnic Crafts (4)

Many of the ethnic minority women employed with China Ethnic Crafts have similar stories to tell.

Meiman’s co-worker Ying Xiang says, “If there was no embroidery work for me to do here, the only other option I would have to earn money would be to go sit outside all day and shine shoes.”

The beautiful designs sewn by Meiman and her friends echo the traditional bright embroidery that Miao women have been sewing for centuries. Now, those same skills can be turned into a fair job in a safe environment and a steady income to support their families.

We have the adorable embroidered coin purses made by Meiman and her colleagues available online, with more products from China Ethnic Crafts to be found in-store!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

SHOP

China Snapshot

Population: 1.35 billion

Capital: Beijing

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 11%, or 157 million people

China is experiencing rapid economic growth, but the benefits have not reached millions of people in rural areas. People who are already poor are the most vulnerable to death, injury and loss of livelihood when floods and earthquakes hit.

Natural disasters in China affect more than 200 million people every year.

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Life is a struggle for Wang Ping Fen and her husband. They live with their three children in the mountains of Yunnan Province, where sweeping craggy slopes meet the vibrant colors of Yunnan’s many ethnic minority cultures, brimming with embroidered textiles, different dialects and traditional dance and song. While rich in cultural heritage, it’s an area that sees great material poverty. Many families like Wang Ping Fen’s survive on a salary of less than US$50, leaving them vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and poor education.

Someone once asked Wang Ping Fen what her greatest desire was. Her answer was simple: she wished to own a sofa – a soft and comfortable place to sit at the end of a long day’s work in the fields. The humble dream became a real possibility, when Wang Ping Fen was given the chance to join a project called Threads of Yunnan. The hand-embroidered ornaments, homewares, jewellery and cards, designed with a modern international market in mind, are inspired by the beautiful traditional designs and motifs of the different minority cultures of Yunnan.

After some time making handicrafts with Threads of Yunnan and carefully saving her earnings, Wang Ping Fen was able to purchase her sofa! Delighted as she was, however, there was something she earned that was even greater. Before taking on the handicrafts job, Wang Ping Fen couldn’t read, write or do basic arithmetic. Threads of Yunnan offered her the chance to take part in their educational and development programs. When, at last, Wang Ping Fen wrote her name for the first time, she had tears in her eyes.

You can see the handiwork of the craftspeople employed by Threads of Yunnan in our Global Handicrafts shop, where we stock embroidered hanging ornaments, greeting cards with lift-out decorations, jewellery and bags.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

SHOP

China Snapshot

Population: 1.35 billion

Capital: Beijing

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 11%, or 157 million people

China is experiencing rapid economic growth, but the benefits have not reached millions of people in rural areas. People who are already poor are the most vulnerable to death, injury and loss of livelihood when floods and earthquakes hit.

Natural disasters in China affect more than 200 million people every year.

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In a workshop in Hue, Vietnam, two rows of women are intent on their work. Fine, brightly-coloured thread and embroidery needles fly through the lustrous silk, as patterns of flowers and swirls come to life.

Even as they concentrate, the women have time to talk and laugh in the well-lit workspace. It is a world away from their small, traditional homes, where many of these women live in poverty.

This is Vinh Hoa, a social enterprise in Hue, which has taken the rich embroidery and silkwork traditions of Vietnam’s ancient cultural capital, and used them to train and employ women who might otherwise have no way to find steady, safe, fair employment.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMany of Vinh Hoa’s staff can’t do fine embroidery work in their homes. A lack of electricity means the dim lighting weakens their eyesight badly. After 2-3 years working in such conditions, Vinh Hoa staff told us, the women’s eyes can be so damaged that they can’t continue embroidering at all.

In the workshop, though, Vinh Hoa has set up workbenches with bright down-lighting, protecting the workers’ eyes, giving them a social meeting point, and ensuring a longer, brighter future as skilled artisans!

Crossroads’ Global Handicrafts shop is dedicated to promoting and selling fair trade products from all over the world, like homewares, gifts, clothes, toys and the scarves made by the women at Vinh Hoa.

Our shop sells several of Vinh Hoa’s exquisite, hand-embroidered scarves, with two available online: Chrysanthemum scarf and Floral purple scarf, and more in-store.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

SHOP

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