HIV care and prevention

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda has caused untold misery for children there, with large numbers orphaned and left to be cared for by aging grandparents or in orphanages. While public awareness campaigns and health initiatives have made excellent progress in Uganda, 7.2 percent of the population still lives with HIV (2012).This amounts to an estimated 1.4 million people, which includes 190,000 children and overall an estimated 1.1 million children have been orphaned by the epidemic.

“This shipment has changed us for the better. You have helped us move forward so fast because the things which we would have done in five to ten years, we are now going to achieve within two years.”

DSC01435Crossroads’ partners who received this shipment have an orphanage   and school for children affected by HIV/Aids, educating and preparing them for fulfilled adult lives. They arrange seminars and workshops to spread information about HIV/AIDS and promote safe practices to reduce the chance of infection. It’s important work in this rural area where infrastructure is limited and access to antiretrovirals is difficult.

The feedback we received from this shipment expressed overwhelming gratitude for how the goods have invested in this community. Educational goods were distributed to the NGO’s school, and other schools in the area, beds to the local hospital, and clothing and shoes to impoverished members of the community, especially those affected by HIV/Aids.

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“We received pens, pencils, exercise books, paint and art brushes as well as writing papers. These items have made all our education very easy. All students have been able to receive his or her own items unlike before when they were sharing and their work has greatly improved.” Photos show furniture, play equipment and educational aids from Crossroads.

Their administration offices were also given a facelift withgood quality furniture and accessories that they could not have afforded to purchase themselves, allowing them to better operate their programmes educating the community on HIV issues and caring for those suffering through the epidemic.

We are delighted to play a part in such valuable work stemming the tide of HIV, and are hugely grateful to those who made it possible to help so many.

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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.

A6

Hospital and health:

“Our patients will be able to be treated on beds rather than before when they were being treated on the floor.” (Hospital beds)

“Sick patients who have been carried when brought to hospital will be able to be put in these wheelchairs.”

“The eye glasses have been distributed to many old people with sight problems and they have been given a new chance to see again. These will last them for years and new hope for them.”

Clothing for vulnerable people:

“Most of the people in our community or village have dressed in second hand clothes and some have been putting on clothes which are worn out with holes but this time, the shipment Crossroads sent us had new clothes which were given to all the community members from babies to the old people.”

“Some of our members have even dropped tears of joy when receiving these goods as they cannot believe that the goods were given to us free of charge by people who don’t know us but care so much about the needy.”

Recreational goods for youth:

“Without this donation from Crossroads, I as a coach would never have got this chance to dress my teams in sports uniform and I would never have got this chance to train my sports students with this sports equipment we have received. Thank you Crossroads.”

“From all the people here, please allow me to say a BIG THANK YOU.”

Refugees huddle together in tents, starving children beg loose change from passers-by and AIDS victims quietly die in huts in rural villages. These people have a small voice on the global scale. Helen Mottee has dedicated herself to shedding light on these and other situations throughout the world with her music. She gives a voice to the disenfranchised and the marginalised, and the agonies they face in today’s world. Based on her personal observations, she advocates for each of these neglected people. By purchasing this CD, you help lift the voices of those who have trouble being heard.

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They call it the silent killer. Hunger is responsible for more deaths per hour, per day, than any other force on the planet, war, HIV, climate change included.

It is described as silent because it does not get talked about as much as the other big killers. Its menace is greater, though. Statistics indicate that, globally, around 25,000 people die from hunger related causes per day. That is just over 1000 per hour.

If we narrow the lens from global to close-up, a country like Malawi comes into focus as a typical, and treacherous, example. The majority of Malawi’s 12 million people live below the poverty line and, as a result, have struggled for years with food-deficiency. Their need is the greater as the nation also has a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, currently estimated at 12%, which has a knock on effect: high death rate of wage earners among parents, strained health infrastructure and increased rupture of family life.

Survival has been tough for many in Malawi. In order for families to make it, emerging reports indicate child labour is widespread. In the tobacco industry, for example, 78,000 children are estimated to be employed daily. Current indicators say some are as young as 6, working up to 12 hours a day, on less than 2 US cents an hour, and suffering headaches and other symptoms from their exposure to nicotine. The need to eat, and to live, drives people to desperate measures.

New steps have been taken to grow more food in the country. Crop cultivation is improving the situation for some, but the benefits are not yet reaching the marginalised and those most vulnerable. Almost 50% of children under the age of 5, for example, are chronically malnourished.

Some of Global Hand’s NGOs are playing their part in helping Malawi, among them the Scottish charity, Glasgow the Caring City (GTCC), which has combated hunger for several years.

Ross Gailbraith, Projects Manager, emphasised the need for food security among children. GTCC, he explained, supports the Chazi Orphanage in its care for over 3000 children. The staff use their training as nurses and horticulturalists to educate, feed and look after the orphans, including those who are, as they put it, ’beyond the care of society.’ They care for those who are ill, run a day care centre and offer a weekly feeding programme.

It caters even for breast-fed babies, since, Ross added, they often remain in need of supplements, because the women, if malnourished themselves, cannot generate the needed milk supplies for their little ones.

So when UK company, ‘Handling Matters’, offered 10,000 baby bowls, spoons and bibs on Global Hand, GTCC responded.

This provision was clearly ideal to include in their Malawi programme, along with soap and clothing. The baby products were particularly suitable because they were impregnated with a disinfectant that would help to revolutionise the eating system in the orphanage.

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger,” Buzz Aldrin, astronaut of former years, famously said. But it takes global, as well as national, will to make it happen. Global Hand welcomes all efforts to overcome this killer and to dispel the silence which, still today, allows it to rob too many of life.

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Maama Emanuel is a walking example of the hope that a gift of simple items can bring to people in poverty.

Maama Emanuel lives in a north Ugandan village, in a community where most people are too poor to afford even enough clothing, food or basic household goods. She had never owned plates, but instead ate directly from the saucepan at mealtimes.

She had no blankets for cover at night, using thick plastic bags for warmth.

When an NGO, staffed by local Ugandans, in Maama Emanuel’s district received a container of goods from Crossroads, they used the items for both big projects – like equipping community primary schools with 20,000 books and equipping vital cattle herder training programs – and small, like visiting the area’s poorest people and giving them urgently needed clothing, blankets and other gifts. Maama Emanuel was one of them.

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Thanks to the shipment, Maama Emmanuel now owns a good blanket, and a set of nice plates on which to serve herself and visitors.

“She is all the time thanking Crossroads!” a staff member from the NGO told us.

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In an area where cattle herding provides the main source of livelihood, the shipment included goods to support programs for training cattle herders in sustainable agricultural practices.

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“Thousands of people were provided with clothes,” wrote our partners. “People got plates and cups to use – something that they had never seen in their communities. It brought joy, happiness and excitement to people who had been used to a hostile and miserable lifestyle.”

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“A new nursery school in the area received toddler items like toys and books. Babies received clothes, and mothers were so happy that this saved them even the small cost of buying clothes for their children. Pregnant mothers were given blankets and this helped to cover their newborns when they were delivered.”

“Planning has been so smooth in our NGO since we had some support from Crossroads. The funds we could have used to purchase office desks have now been designated for other activities like HIV/Aids programs.”

The shipment was such a strategic investment into the community that our partners have requested another shipment to help continue and expand their programs.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.

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For a person living with AIDS in rural Uganda, death hovers many months before they actually die. Anti-retroviral drugs are available in some areas, but this does not help those who are too poor to pay for treatment, or who live too far from a clinic.

Uganda_a_room_with_beds

As AIDS-related illnesses like tuberculosis, parasitic infections and cancers attack the body, the person grows weaker and thinner, over the course of months, eventually confined to bed where family members must care for them until they die.

The disease leaves thousands of orphans, which in turns creates strain on the elderly, who are often left in charge of a houseful of children with no parents, and no way to earn a steady income.

One NGO in Eastern Uganda who serves hundreds of HIV-affected people annually asked Crossroads for help with goods that could support their programmes and bring relief to those suffering so much. After receiving the container, they reported the impact with joy.

Medical equipment donated from Hong Kong has now been installed in the local health centres. “We can now offer inpatient services where clients are hospitalized on proper hospital beds, and give better handling of critical patients with the provided trolleys. We also can provide diabetes and blood pressure tests,” they said. “As a result of this donation we have been able to upgrade our services and are now seeing a number of people flocking to the centre for medical services.”

200 children from 6 different villages who were struggling to stay in school and whose homes are headed by widows or elderly people received toys, clothes and school books. Many had never owned a toy before.

Children who had previously been writing on the ground because they had no exercise books excitedly received exercise books and stationery.

A job creation scheme for women benefited from the container too: Crossroads sent cooking utensils and crockery which a group of women will use in a small catering business, generating income for them to be able to keep their children in school. They also used some of the clothing from Crossroads as uniforms for their catering business (above left).

Uganda_group_of_girls

The stories go on and on. Almost every part of the community was touched by the goods, given by so many generous Hong Kong donors, and will now experience real change.

Do you want to be part of an overseas shipment? Crossroads is seeking sponsors for containers bound for nations around the world where exciting projects are taking place. Email engagement@crossroads.org.hk to see how you can get involved!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Donate to a shipment like this one.

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.

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Amina (below) was only 13 years old when she was raped and fell pregnant to her attacker. Her family rejected her and she had no way to support her child. Even finding clothes for the baby was beyond her.

NGO_single_teenage_mother

Thankfully, an NGO met Amina and took her into their programmes. They found her a home, and gave her clothes for her and her baby, but they knew her most important need was for a way to fund her future.

“She could hardly read or write,” they said, “but now she is registered with our training centre and is learning how to sew.” With these skills, Amina has the chance to make a real life for herself and her child.

When the NGO that helped Amina requested a shipment from Crossroads, they told us that building a computer centre to serve the area’s children and vulnerable women like Amina was high on their list of priorities.

“Without some kind of training or job skills, many single mothers can’t support their families at all,” they said.”We also help keep orphans in school by sponsoring their education, helping them with uniforms, school supplies and so on.”

When Crossroads’ shipment arrived, even torrential tropical rains couldn’t hold back their eagerness to start using the goods immediately! “The heavy rains have disturbed our distribution, but we have started some programmes already,” they wrote.

“With the computers, we are running women and kids for our school,” they told us. “Many of the kids have never seen a computer before and they are so excited to work on them!”

NGO_school_equipmentStationery, toys and school bags were also received with excitement (above), to distribute to children affected by HIV/Aids who frequently drop out of school because they can’t afford fees, supplies and uniforms!

We’re grateful to shipping company Maersk, who generously sponsored this shipment.

 Want to sponsor an international shipment?

We have several international shipments ready to set sail and waiting for sponsors! Your company, club, organisation or family can make a shipment happen.

Email us at partnerships@crossroads.org.hk for a list of partnership opportunities.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Give Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

DONATE MONEY

Donate Goods!

Want to donate goods for a shipment like this one?

DONATE GOODS

Cameroon Snapshot

Population: 22.25 million

Capital: Yaoundé

Cameroon is in the west Central Africa region, with natural features including beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas.

Although the country as a whole has improved standards of literacy and healthcare, there is still a long way to go. Less than half of children go on to secondary education, and over 40% are involved in some kind of child labour. In rural areas, less than half the population has access to clean water and sanitation.

Cameroon_S2893_5

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