Many have read the unforgettable story of Christina Noble. She lived in dire poverty as a young child until, after her mother died, she and her three siblings were sent to separate orphanages. In time she ended up homeless, living on the street. It was a miracle that she survived. As an adult, her own childhood suffering has fueled a deep passion for other children battling maltreatment, abuse and poverty. In 1989 she went to Vietnam to care for such children there and has dedicated her life to children’s rights.

When a company told us they had computers available for donation in Vietnam, we offered it on our Global Hand website. The Christina Noble Foundation received them (see main photo below) and used them for the children’s library in their Sunshine School: a great name for kids who would, otherwise, have a very dark childhood.

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In the battle against poverty, physical education can play a crucial role in helping young people. It gets them off the streets where other activities may cause them harm. It gives them pride in being healthy and fit, which can be a deterrent to the offer of drugs or other poor recreational choices. It gives them the joy of belonging to a team and the fulfilment of additional purpose in their lives.

So, when a company offered sports uniforms, and balls, in the UK, through Global Hand, the NGO Food for the Hungry took them for their development work in Burundi. The pride in the faces of these young people speaks loudly to their delight at this provision. (see main photo below)

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Unilever's global supply chain managers took part in the Struggle for Survival x-perience.

Unilever’s global supply chain heads make and sell paper bags to ‘survive’ life in the slum.

Unilever’s global supply chain heads became ‘slum dwellers’ for a morning when they took part in our Struggle for Survival x-perience in London in May.

A team from Global X-perience in Hong Kong and Global Hand UK threw the Unilever staff into their new roles as impoverished families in a slum, desperately trying to keep themselves alive by making and selling paper bags, escaping loan sharks, disease and other perils.

After the fast-paced simulation, the participants, in small groups, were tasked with coming up with solutions that would help Unilever care better for the communities they work in and source from.

Staff discussed how Unilever can better care for and work with the communities where their goods are manufactured.

Staff discussed how Unilever can better care for and work with the communities where their goods are manufactured.

The event kicked off an international meeting for the supply chain heads. They  were already scheduled to meet when Unilever’s chief supply chain officer was so moved by Crossroads’ Struggle for Survival X-perience at the World Economic Forum in January that he invited our team to run it for his staff at this gathering in May.

“It had such an impact on me even within a 90 minute session,” said one of the staff after the simulation. “It generated loads of empathy, ideas and positive action,” commented another.

Would you like your company, club or organisation to do one of our x-periences? We’d love to talk about how we might work together! Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

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