SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Benin, bordered by Togo and Nigeria in West Africa, is rich in natural beauty and cultural history, but is one of the world’s poorest nations. Benin’s 9.4 million people still lack access to basic social services and are dependent upon agriculture and farming crops like corn or soya, which is threatened by climate change, further endangering already fragile livelihoods.

Crossroads sent a shipment bound for a region of Benin where our NGO partners are addressing these needs through a carefully-structured system of women’s “micro companies”, where women who show motivation and a desire to change their circumstances attend evening training and educational sessions for 3 years.

“Since receiving the container there have been great changes in the lives of the population.”NGO staff

Sewing machines from Crossroads’ container are helping women in poor communities learn skills that are helping them start businesses and lift their families out of poverty.

Computers and furniture from the shipment have set up a community computer centre, where eager youth can now access the internet, use computers for their school work and engage with the wider world.

Crossroads volunteers loading the Benin container in Hong Kong

The shipment was a huge boost to our partners’ operations, with goods that not only helped their own offices and administration, but were a very real investment in their job creation and training projects.

Impact of Crossroads’ shipment so far:

  • Computers and furniture set up a new computer centre, now attended by 110 people per day. 20 youth have been formally trained in computer skills already, and 5 young people have been employed to manage the centre.
  • 30 young women are enrolled in dressmaking classes using sewing machines from the shipment, with several already having completed the training.
  • A care home for vulnerable children has increased its capacity from 30 to 60 children, thanks to furniture and household goods from the shipment.
  • 2,000 of the area’s most vulnerable, like orphans, widows and elderly, were reached with distribution of essentials from the shipment including clothing and mattresses.
  • An estimated 3,000 people were directly impacted by goods from the shipment, with a further 20,000 estimated to be indirectly impacted.

We’re grateful to all who contributed to this shipment, investing in the lives of the poor in Benin. Turn over for more stories of how the goods have touched people’s individual lives!

Madeleine is widowed, with three children to support. She’s thankful to be learning how to sew, thanks to the sewing machines from Crossroads, and hopes to use her newfound skills to earn an income.

Martine is a widow, and was unemployed, finding it very hard to climb out of poverty. Now that she’s learnt sewing skills using the equipment from Crossroads’ shipment, she’s been able to take on small jobs and can now afford to buy clothes for herself and her children, and feed them properly, as well as pay for their health and education.

Grace, in 3rd form, is a grateful recipient of a bicycle from Crossroad’s shipment. It was hard for her to get to school on time, traveling on foot, and she was often late for class even if she left home early. Having a bike has drastically reduced her commute and made it that much easier for her to stay in school and improve her future!

Jacques was born healthy, but suffered an illness that left him paralysed later in childhood. His mobility is severely limited, and he had no way to get around without the help of his mother. Now, with a wheelchair from Crossroads’ shipment, he’s proud and grateful to be able to control his own mobility and has renewed hope for the future.

“Our thanks to Crossroads Foundation of Hong-Kong and DHL for the sewing and embroidery machines,” said the women’s cooperative, in a joyful statement. “


“We are learning and working together for the good of our children and our homes.”

Reference No. S4125

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Crossroads’ partners on this shipment serve a community of 250,000 in rural Kenya, where many are living in poverty. The work our partners do in their community is helping children break their family’s cycle of poverty, first by supporting them to stay in school, then offering recreational and educational activities for youth, and then income generating schemes once they have finished school.

Crossroads’ shipment included a wide range of goods that helped equip and expand their projects, such as books to start one community’s first ever library, furniture to fit out a school where children previously didn’t have enough chairs and desks for students, and more. Clothing and other basic necessities proved an invaluable way for them to reach out to more women, teenaged girls and young mothers. Because of the relationships built through this distribution, they now have more than 200 new enrolments in their financial literacy programme! From this, women are then supported to start their own small businesses to support their families.

“The multiplier effect of these goods cannot be underestimated!” – NGO staff

Our partners estimate that around 5,000 people have been directly and indirectly impacted by the goods from this shipment. The school goods in particular are a capital investment that will support children for many years to come, allowing children to stay in school who otherwise were at risk of dropping out. We are very grateful to all who contributed to this shipment, through donations of goods, funding and volunteer efforts. Thank you for caring for those in rural Kenya!

(Above) High quality new shoes for both children and adults were distributed to some of the area’s most vulnerable. Many had never worn shoes before at all, and owning a new pair was a first for them.

(Above) Staff unload goods from the shipment in rural Kenya.

(Above) Sporting goods, school desks and chairs, and books for the community’s first ever library (below) have been a capital investment far beyond their face value, in desperately under-resourced communities.

Reference No. S3284

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

When Crossroads shipped to a long-term partner in Antipolo, we knew the goods would be valuable in their work with families from the slums. What none of us knew, though, was how timely the shipment would be for their disaster and poverty relief efforts. Within weeks of the shipment arriving, the Taal volcano erupted, forcing more than 70,000 people within a 14km radius to evacuate.

Our partners leapt into action, making several trips to the evacuation centres with goods from Crossroads’ container. “With a tragedy of this size, our resources to help the community would have been drained quickly,” they wrote. “But we are grateful that the shipment form Crossroads was there. We have already done our fourth relief outreach and have provided food, shelter, clothing, blankets and medical supplies, children’s toys and other things from the shipment.”

“We are grateful that the shipment from Crossroads was there. It made a lot of displaced families happy.” NGO staff

“We were able to help three community councils with school furniture and office equipment.  Two of them can now restart operation of their offices after their offices were damaged by the volcano eruption.  These communities have an average constituency of more than 5,000 residents each,” they said.

“Showing victims that there are still people who have not forgotten about the calamity helps boost their morale despite their dire situation,” they reflected. They estimate that around 1,000 people in evacuation camps directly benefited through goods from the shipment.

Alongside the disaster relief projects, their schools for urban poor children were impacted by goods from Crossroads. Growing up in the slums of Antipolo means crowded living quarters, with families squeezed into one-room homes where all home activities take place. Diseases spread quickly, and family tensions are hard to escape. For children from these families, a high-quality education can be the key to breaking the poverty cycle.

We have shipped goods for their network of schools and youth clubs in past years, and this new investment of goods has now upgraded and improved the level of education they can offer. Seven different facilities, from day care to youth clubs, received desktop computers, school equipment, educational toys and other goods. “674 students are now benefitting from better equipped classrooms,” they said.

(Above) Helping Taal volcano evacuees: More than 70,000 people were displaced when Taal volcano erupted. Living in temporary evacuation centres they were in desperate need of essential goods and items for children. For local councils, our partners distributed office furniture, fridges, computers and wheelchairs, replacing goods lost through damage after the eruption. For children and families in the evacuation camps, toys and educational supplies (pictured below) added to the food, shelter and medical supplies that our partners were distributing, showing the evacuees they were not forgotten.

For children in urban slums (below), a quality education like that offered in our partners’ schools, can be the key to escaping a life of desperate poverty. See next page for initial feedback photos of goods from Crossroads arriving to help equip schools.

(Above) Crossroads’ team loads the container at Crossroads Village in December 2019.

(Above) Staff and volunteers unpack the goods at their community centre in the Philippines.

 

Reference No. : S2316B

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Crossroads’ partners on this shipment wrote of the endless factors that keep people trapped in poverty: unreliable electricity supply, limited clean water, leading to outbreaks of disease, and poor roads and transport in rural areas, so that farmers find it hard to get produce to outside markets. “Most families can’t afford higher education,” they wrote, “and healthcare services and supplies are a major challenge.”

The shipment sent by Crossroads included goods to help equip and expand their projects, such as:

  • Audio-visual equipment for training and education
  • Toys, sports equipment and educational supplies for community schools and youth sports projects
  • Office furniture, computers and office supplies to improve administration
  • Hundreds of books for schools and libraries
  • Beds and bedding to equip schools and clinics
  • Computers and monitors for digital literacy training.

“It is difficult to express in a report the feelings of the beneficiaries. Everywhere we went brought so much joy and a feeling of relief. They felt love and this boosted their self-esteem.” – NGO staff

(Above) Volunteers help to unload the goods from the shipment which had arrived at our partner NGO’s offices.

(Above) Excitement at the arrival of the goods was expressed in dance and song at one school that benefited!

(Above) The educational goods were distributed to our partners’ network of schools, where things like school desks and chairs, stationery and books were received with jubilation by the under-resourced teachers.

“There are many orphans and other vulnerable youth who do not go to school because of lack of means,” wrote our partners. “We have designed a vocational training programme to benefit this group of children and enable them live independent lives and contribute to the economic development of our country.” Computers from the shipment are helping our partners give training to these children that would otherwise be out of reach.

Reference No. S4545

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Papua New Guinea is a nation of stark contrasts. Situated in the tropical southwestern Pacific, it’s one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, and rich in natural resources, but violence and brutality are major social issues. The nation’s capital, Port Moresby, ranks among the world’s five ‘least liveable’ cities, due to gang violence, murder and rape. Thousands of small agricultural communities live in remote areas where it’s difficult to access everyday goods let alone healthcare or emergency services.

When Crossroads shipped to Papua New Guinea, it was not without challenges, including a serious earthquake that hit the highlands in 2018. Thanks to the hard work of our partners, though, the shipment was safely delivered to two secondary schools in remote communities.

The shipment included computers, school furniture and books for school libraries, all of which created a huge impact on the two school campuses. “The project was inspiring!” wrote staff. “The primary aim was to establish our first computer laboratory and school library.” They used the goods to create a brand new information centre, where students can now learn IT skills and connect to the wider world.

“The project impacted positively on the secondary school students, and boosted their overall morale, spirits, excitement, aspirations, dreams and hopes!” – NGO staff

(Above) The laptops, TV screens and other computer hardware were gratefully received, helping set up the school’s first computer lab. 40 cartons of books filled the new library. Chairs and other furniture saved the schools US$1500. The shipment also contained bicycles, mattresses, shoes, toys and backpacks which were distributed to the students.

The multiplier effect of the donation has been significant.  They estimate that more than 1500 secondary school students have been directly impacted by the computer lab; over 9000 students impacted altogether, and 20,000 local people have benefitted.  In fact, they see the impact moving widely to the whole of Papua New Guinea, as the students have more skills to serve locally and nationally, building the foundation for more productive lives and better futures.

Reference No. S3742

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

As a largely agricultural country which has struggled to develop economically, poverty remains a persistent challenge in Malawi. Over 80% of the population are considered ‘working poor’, which means that even though they are employed they earn less than US$3.10 a day. Poor infrastructure means that access to education and healthcare in Malawi are both lacking, and the country’s problems have been exacerbated by the fact that it is one of the world’s worst hit regions for HIV/AIDS; over one million children in Malawi have been orphaned by the disease.

Our NGO partners in the region are working tirelessly to provide support and relief to the people of Malawi. Their vision is to build a society where people’s livelihoods are secure, and there is equal access to quality schools and health facilities for all. In order to achieve this, our partners coordinate a series of programmes which aim to improve social and economic development, empower local communities, and provide material aid to the most vulnerable in society. Their projects encompass schooling, health and hygiene education, elderly care, orphanage support, and more.

“We had a very big problem with lacking hospital equipment at our health centre, but the beds and mattresses from this shipment have rescued us from this situation and we have already seen maternity services improved”  – Health & Social Services Administrator

(Above left) New hospital beds and mattresses arrive at a local health clinic. (Above right) Desks and chairs are unloaded at a local primary school.

(Above) New bikes are providing children with easier access to schools, and new opportunities to enjoy their free time!

The goods donated in this shipment have had a huge impact on the lives of the people who our partners support and even the shipping container itself has proven useful, finding a new life as office space at a youth training centre. Here are just a few examples of the ways in which these goods have touched people’s lives so far:

  • Computers have allowed the opening of new IT training facilities, allowing young people the opportunity to develop new and important skills.
  • Hospital beds and mattresses have drastically improved the quality of care in many local health centres.
  • Books and educational materials have allowed the opening of three community libraries, accessible by over 9,000 people.

Our partners estimate that 4,200 people have been directly impacted by this shipment, and over 30,000 indirectly impacted.


PHOTOS OF GOODS IN USE

(Above left) Hospital beds are unloaded, ready to be distributed to health centres. (Above right) Students wait for their new desks and chairs to be set up in classrooms.

 

(Above left) New computers have improved IT facilities drastically for our partners. (Above right) Students set up one of the new computers in the IT training facilities.

 

(Above) Clothing is sorted and organized ready for distribution amongst local communities.

 

Reference No. S4669

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

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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

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

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