“Nobody wanted to hire us!” we were told by women struggling to generate income here in Hong Kong. For those who are older or who live with disabilities, finding a stable job can be challenging in today’s competitive world. Happily, though, the story has a good ending for a group of women who have been trained and employed to cook and clean by a social enterprise group: one committed to creating employment and giving women a salary. They now work at a canteen near Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University and Crossroads donated the pots, pans and utensils they use. We provided not only the quality kitchen equipment but also the tables, chairs and other furniture required to run the new canteen. We were only too happy to supply what was needed to help empower more disadvantaged women.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

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“Those were the years of violence,” said Juliana, a Peruvian woman who works with craft collective Kuyanakuy. She reflected on the bloody internal conflict that raged in parts of Peru in the early 1990s, leaving at least 70,000 people dead. At the height of the violence, Juliana was sheltering 12 families who were forced out of their homes to flee the terror.

Although the conflict has now settled in Juliana’s community, it left deep scars. Women who lived through that time lost husbands, children and beloved neighbours. Many found themselves impoverished without their breadwinner or another steady source of income.

Out of these ashes, a group of women banded together to form Kuyanakuy, a name that means ‘Let us love’: a place where today women survivors of the conflict can meet, support each other, cry together, and work together to create beautiful handicrafts drawing on rich Peruvian artistic traditions and imagery. All the craftswomen are from low-income families and most are illiterate when they join, with little chance of a decent, steady job. Through Kuyanakuy, though, they are now learning to read and write alongside their new-found handicraft skills. As well, of course, this work generates income for them as they care, single-handed, for their families.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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.

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HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

Extreme taboo surrounds the process of menstruation in some parts of India, says local NGO, Goonj. What options do women have, then, without access to feminine hygiene products? In rural India, millions of women improvise with rags or, unthinkably, sand, ash and the like. As a result, they meet infection and disease, not to mention a crippling lack of dignity.

Goonj is doing what it can to restore that dignity to Indian women. In a project they call ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’, they produce pads and underwear out of cleaned, recycled textiles. They distribute these in packs to rural women, teaching them how to sew pads of their own. For the women, this simple provision is proving liberating and empowering.

This creative organisation also supports its women with another of their innovative enterprises. They train women to make paper bags out of recycled newspaper so they can earn income based on fair trade principles. These bags are sold all over the world, including Crossroads.

Any time you buy something from our Global Handicrafts shop, you will be given your purchase in one of Goonj’s recycled paper bags.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...