Helping Prisoners and their Families


Life in a Zambian prison can be a dismal experience.

S3767 Zambia project profile-4When prisoners are released in Zambia, all too often they enter a new state of imprisonment, locked into poverty, as they find nobody will employ them, and they can be shunned by family and community. This leaves thousands of former prisoners without any way to rebuild their lives, even when they are ready to work hard and make a fresh start. “Most of them are destitute,” write our partners.

The NGO we are shipping to has worked closely with more than 20,000 prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families in Zambia since they were founded in the 1980’s. To prisoners, they give counsel and support, as well as meeting material needs of those who have nobody to bring clothing, blankets or medicines not provided by the institution. For those who are released, they help with advice, counsel and small business loans to help people start afresh. Children and families of prisoners are often left deeply impoverished, and sometimes shunned themselves. Our partners care for their needs with clothes, blankets and other necessities, as well as financial help for schooling. Crossroads’ shipment will help boost their supplies of goods for distribution, and will support the administration of their programmes.

Shipment includes:

  • Clothing, shoes and blankets for former prisoners and their families
  • Computers for administration and training


S3767 Zambia project profile-11Life in a Zambian prison can be a dismal experience. Our partners offer counselling, advice, medical care and support to the prisoners themselves and to prisoners’ families. “They are discriminated against because of their association with prisoners,” write our partners. Often families lose their primary breadwinner when a father and husband is imprisoned.



This shipment will include goods to aid many more former prisoners and their families, like the children below.

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Zambia Snapshot

Population: 14.83 million
Capital: Lusaka
Zambia is a beautiful, landlocked country in Southern Africa, with a tropical climate.

74.5% of people in Zambia live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day.
40% of children are involved in some kind of child labour
1.1 million people are living with HIV.


At 60, Mr Mak is nearing life’s end. He has battled lupus but, as well, has recently learned he is dying of cancer. The doctors have told him they can no longer do anything but help him manage the pain.



Before he became sick, Mr Mak worked as a welder on construction sites overseas and earned enough to support his wife, who is not Hong Kong-born, and three daughters. Now, though, he’s returned to Hong Kong for better medical care and is too sick to work. As a foreigner, his wife is not yet able to earn money so the pair is completely dependent on social welfare to survive each week.

He was granted a government flat, and advised by his social worker to come to Crossroads for his furnishings. At the time, he personally owned only a bunk bed and a fridge. Without any cupboards, he could only store his belongings in stripy bags on the bunk. With no couch, they could only use its lower bed as the one place to sit.

He came to visit Crossroads, however, and chose all his other furniture needs: a small couch, side table, two large cabinets for storage, drawers, chairs, a washing machine and other items. Later, one of our team visited and asked Mr Mak what makes him happy, day to day. He replied, “Having this lovely apartment and sitting by the window on my couch.” The gratitude and humility that radiate from Mr Mak are remarkable.

Mr Mak is one of thousands of people across Hong Kong who ask us for help. Each week, in partnership with the Social Welfare Department, we work with 40 or so people like him: individuals whom life has dealt a heavy blow and who need support. Each is worth cherishing and caring for, whether a young child full of hope and potential, or a quiet, humble man at the end of his life, with nothing left to give back.

How you can help

Generous donors of goods and funding keep our Hong Kong distribution department running each day.

Donate goods

We are especially in need of computers, rice cookers, microwave ovens, electric kettles and irons to distribute to needy Hong Kong families. Click here to donate any of these items 

Donate money

Just HK$250 can allow Crossroads to help ten people like Mr Mak. Donate by clicking here.

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