When we think of ‘slavery’, we easily picture 18th century shiploads of people in appalling conditions, or Roman captives under a merciless whip.

It is tempting to think the issue of ‘slavery’ belongs to yesteryear. Yet, extraordinarily, the world has, today, more slaves than it has ever known before.

One hot spot is Romania where many are lured by the offer of work in other countries only to find, upon arrival, they have been sold into the sex trade or other ‘forced labour’.

Romania is a tragic ‘trifecta’:  a source, transit and a destination country for human trafficking. Global Hand saw a unique match come about when an Australian research organisation, Social Compass, wanted to help.

They used the Global Hand website to offer pro bono research and evaluation for any NGO working in the field of sex trafficking. The offer was snapped up by Romanian NGO Pro Prietenia Arad, who does indeed serve people tangled up in such heart-breaking situations.

The two parties are now working together to see research that will bring freedom to some of those who are trapped by this modern tragedy.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Romania Snapshot

Population: 21.77 million
Capital: Bucharest

Population below national poverty line of US$3.50 per day: 21.5%

Infant mortality rates are among the highest in Europe. Access to health care is not commonly available for the poor.

Based on GDP stats, Romania is the 9th poorest country in Europe out of 50, with an average income of USD 12.80 per person.

A74

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Bread of Life cards and handicraft items are made by people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the struggling, post-war nation of Former Yugoslavia.

Many find it difficult to find work, even if they are highly skilled and experienced. Proceeds from these products contribute to the work of Bread of Life, and to the craftspeople and their families. Thank you for helping us to support them through your purchase!

Handicrafts Shop Producers

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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When Katya* was found by local schoolteacher Eva, she was filthy and infested with lice, living without parents in a small village house. She had not bathed in several weeks and was traumatised after her alcoholic mother abandoned her, and her older brother was killed by a car.

It’s children like Katya, alone and vulnerable, that are easy targets for human traffickers. Official statistics estimate there are 25,000 Moldovan victims of human trafficking, and 40% of them are children.

Katya shows Crossroads staff the squalid conditions of the home in which she lived with her brother before being fostered.

Katya shows Crossroads staff the squalid conditions of the home in which she lived with her brother before being fostered.

Thankfully for Katya, Eva and her husband couldn’t bear to leave the little girl alone in the village, and brought her into their own home as a foster daughter. Today, Katya is a bright, well-dressed, articulate teenager, who loves her foster parents. The family, though, still struggles to make ends meet in a place that has been classified as Europe’s poorest nation.

Crossroads partnered with an NGO in the region to help foster families like Katya’s, shipping a container of goods that would help relieve the pressure of poverty. Today, Katya is happy, healthy and thriving in her foster family.

We shipped toys, stationery, household goods for foster families, and a large quantity of educational items that they are now using in their support centres. Families living in poverty, who may be tempted to give up their children to state-run institutions, are given the care, support and respite they need to keep their children within the family home.

*Not her real name

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Moldova Snapshot

Moldova Population: 3.55 million

Capital: Chișinău

Moldova is the poorest nation in Europe. There are currently 7,000 children in staterun institutions but only 2% are orphans (BBC). Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, formerly part of the Soviet Union. Our partner project is actually based in Transnistria, a breakaway state, autonomous but with limited international recognition. It has a population of 505 thousand, and its capital is Tiraspol.Of children who pass through orphanages in Moldova, one in 10 commits suicide and one in 5 become involved in crime

Moldova map

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When we think of ‘slavery’, we easily picture 18th century shiploads or Roman times. Yet, today, the BBC tells us, the world has more slaves than it has ever known before.

Romania_ladies_legsOne hot spot is Romania where many are offered tempting ‘jobs’ in other countries only to find, upon arrival, they have been sold into the sex trade or other ‘forced labour’.

Romania is a tragic ‘trifecta’: a source, transit and a destination country for human trafficking. Global Hand saw a unique match come about when an Australian research organisation, Social Compass, wanted to help.

Global Hand can help your company find non-profit projects to partner on. Click the link for more:
www.globalhand.org

They used the Global Hand website to offer pro bono research and evaluation for any NGO working in the field of sex trafficking.

The offer was snapped up by Romanian NGO Pro Prietenia Arad, who does indeed serve people tangled up in such heart-breaking situations.

The two parties are now working together to see research that will bring freedom to some of those who are trapped by this modern tragedy.

Can we help you find non-profit projects to partner on?

Visit www.globalhand.org to search for NGOs around the world looking for corporate partners.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Each January, some of the planet’s most powerful corporate leaders gather in the small Swiss town of Davos to discuss how they can use their resources and influence to improve the state of the world. It’s the World Economic Forum, and this year, Crossroads was privileged to bring our Refugee Run to the event, giving participants a deep, though brief, experience of life as a refugee.

While we’ve been running simulations in Davos since 2009, this was the first year we were part of the official programme, giving us a new, unique opportunity to reach some of the world’s changemakers.

Refugee_run

We focused, in particular, on the escalating crisis in Syria and the plight of the refugees in the neighbouring countries. We brought aid workers from Jordan and Lebanon who spoke of the refugees they serve. Wonderfully, people of Syrian nationality attended too, including refugees.

simulations_Davos_2014_2

Those who took part in the experience ranged from the King and Queen of Belgium to leaders of multinational corporations, to Sheryl Sandberg (below), COO of Facebook, who spoke to the participants about ways to find peace in this troubled region.

simulation_famus_people

Many of the CEOs who attended were blinking back tears: people who are used to managing their international companies, but who found themselves feeling helpless and disempowered when confronted with the reality simulated. We had scores of comments that echoed one another’s themes.

‘I was skeptical but this simulation has been too powerful. Overwhelming. A call to action.’

‘A powerful way to seal our commitment to improving the world.’

‘Thank you for such an incredible and moving experience. I feel hugely compelled to take action.’ – Justin Keeble, Managing Director, Accenture Sustainability Services, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

‘While it can never compare to real trauma/resilience of refugees, Crossroads has a chilling simulation at WEF.’ via Twitter, Robert Kauffman, International Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Int Fed Red Cross and Red Crescent

‘I did the Refugee Run in a past year and found it to be amazing and life changing.’ – Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikimedia

Company directors responded in many ways. Some spoke of renewed commitment to keeping factories open in the Syrian region so people could remain employed. Several offered to fund schools for refugee children in camps. One spoke of using the company’s solar technology to support the need for power in camps.

Raphael, former DR Congo refugee and now aid worker, shared his experiences and insights with participants.

The goal is, in a broken world, to be a crossroads: a place where those in need can be linked with those who can help. In Davos, we often feel that we speak to some of the world’s most powerful individuals on behalf of some of the world’s least powerful.

To see the full set of images from Crossroads’ Refugee Run in Davos, click here.

Want to book the Refugee Run for your organisation?

We’d love to talk! Click here or email life-x@crossroads.org.hk, or visit Global X-Perience for Crossroads’ full range of simulations, catering to a variety of individuals or groups.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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read more ...

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