SHIPMENT FEEDBACK

Guinea has long struggled with instability and internal conflict, and this has slowed development. Despite Guinea’s vast natural resources, the people of Guinea are amongst the poorest in West Africa. Resources have been further strained in recent decades by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Our local NGO partners in the region are running a number of projects to try and address the challenges faced by their people. They work with communities to provide healthcare and education in rural areas, to train young people with practical and vocational skills, and to run an orphanage providing care and support to children who have lost their parents.

 

“Before, we used to have to travel a long distance to do tests for our patients, but now we can perform the tests right in our hospital!” NGO Staff

Staff at this rural hospital work hard to do their best with limited resources. They were excited to receive a large quantity of furniture, office equipment, computers and medical equipment and supplies to help them do their job better. They can now offer new services to the local community that formerly were only available many hours away.

Children from impoverished families often drop out of school because they can’t afford stationery or decent clothes. Our partners told us that school stationery from Crossroads’ shipment helped supply exercise books and other items to many children whose families couldn’t afford school supplies.

Mr Bangoura  has been confined to a wheelchair since an accident in 2009 but his wheelchair was old and broken. He badly needed a new one. “It was affecting him so much, as he couldn’t move around,” said our partners. When Crossroads’ shipment arrived, their staff were able to provide Mr Bangoura with a new wheelchair, bringing the man’s father to tears. “He has been wondering how he could raise the money to buy a new wheelchair for his son,” said staff.

 

The impact of Crossroads’ shipment was remarkable, both at an administrative level, such as hospital equipment and supplies that will benefit many thousands, and on an individual level, such as people with disabilities who were in desperate need of wheelchairs and now have brand new wheelchairs from the shipment. Staff wrote, “When the ultrasound arrived at the hospital, there was a group of women from the community who broke into singing as joy filled their hearts. Why were they rejoicing? Because they no longer need to walk a long distance in search of a better hospital.” Other medical equipment included an oxygen monitor, microscope, IV poles and commode wheelchairs, all hugely valuable to the under-resourced hospital.

 

We are hugely grateful to all who contributed to this shipment for their investment in the lives of people in rural Guinea.

Reference No. : S4881

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Guinea has long struggled with instability and internal conflict, and this has slowed development. Despite Guinea’s vast mineral wealth, the people of Guinea are amongst the poorest in West Africa and ethnic tensions often boil over into violent clashes. These problems have been made worse in recent years by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Literacy rates are low, with only 46.3% of the population literate, and that percentage is lower still for women.

Our NGO partners in the region are running a number of projects to try and address the multi-faceted problems causing poverty. They travel around rural areas offering their programmes in literacy, small business training and poverty alleviation.

As well as goods to invest in strategic educational projects, they asked for some basic necessities like clothing. “In some areas we have found people without clothes and shoes,” they said, “We help them by providing them these items, particularly children who are walking a lot for school.”

We are preparing a shipment of goods to equip and expand their many projects, including computers, educational supplies, school bags, books, electrical goods, school and office furniture, clothing and more.

LITERACY AS A PATHWAY OUT OF POVERTY

Literacy rates in Guinea are shockingly low: 46.3% (UNESCO, 2014). That means fewer than half of the population can read and write, which helps keep people trapped in poverty. Our partners are pioneering a literacy programme in Guinean communities, whereby they train ‘peer educators’ in how to teach literacy skills to their fellow villagers, then open and manage literacy training centres.

They have told us that they need educational equipment to help bring these centres to life! We are pleased to be including educational goods in our shipment to support their literacy and primary school projects, like books, stationery, furniture, school desks and chairs, and whiteboards.

SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

“The aim is to help vulnerable women to become financially independent,” said our partners of their small business startup programmes. They travel the countryside offering training in skills like baking or soap-making, equipping women to start their own business to support their families. Goods from this shipment will help our partners administer programmes like these.

 


“Guinea has a high level of natural resources,” write our partners, “but most Guineans are living in poverty, particularly in rural areas where women are most affected.” Our partners are working hard on solutions, like small business training, agricultural training and building a new school for children in poverty.


Reference No. S3985

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Guinea snapshot

Population: 12.72 million
Capital: Conakry
Official language: French
Population below poverty line of US$1.90 per day: 35.3%

Despite Guinea’s wealth in natural resources, instability and internal conflict have left the country underdeveloped. Guinea’s people are amongst the poorest in West Africa and there are frequent ethnic clashes. Although 2010 saw the country’s first democratic election, there is still much work to be done in easing Guinea’s internal tensions and in improving the lives of its people.
Source: UN WFP and BBC

 

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