Investing in Post-war Communities

Women and children are particularly vulnerable, with so many men lost in the conflict.

S3938 Uganda project profile-5The devastating conflict in Northern Uganda officially ended a decade ago, but even though people have returned home, life is far from restored. Families are deeply traumatised from the war’s atrocities, and unemployment is high. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, with so many men lost in the conflict.
Crossroads’ partners are working in these recovering communities to see more children succeed in school, and more youth and women trained in income-generating skills. “Our children have not been able to excel in their studies simply because of lack of essentials like mathematical sets and other things,” they wrote. “The need for scholastic tools, materials like books, pens, pencils, and drawing and painting kits is enormous.” Their soap-making project has been a joyful success story. Vulnerable women and widows learn how to make soap, and are now selling around 100L each day. This brings income to the women, who can now feed their families and keep their children in school, and it lets the community buy quality soap made locally.

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Crossroads is shipping school supplies and equipment, along with school desks and chairs, and goods for our partners’ other programmes: hospital beds, medical supplies, office furniture and clothes and shoes for the poorest families.

This woman (left), widowed and HIV positive, was given a small loan by our partners to start a cassava business, which is now allowing her to support her family.


S3938 Uganda project profile-2Rose (left) has been left doubly vulnerable to poverty: a widow, and HIV positive. In July 2010, Crossroads’ partners gave Rose a sewing machine along with training in tailoring. It was a wise investment, indeed! After starting a small business, Rose has been able to generate sufficient income to buy three more sewing machines. She has been encouraged to train two more people in tailoring every year, and she now employs six of these people. As a result, Rose is now living a self-reliant and successful life and the returns on this investment are multiplying throughout her community.


Crossroads’ shipment will include furniture and equipment to support the administration of programmes like the job-creation scheme that helped Rose, so far reaching 800 beneficiaries.

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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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Care for orphans and vulnerable children

Kenya_1Narok district in Kenya is often referred to as the nation’s breadbasket, rich in natural resources and fertile land. For residents, though, many aspects of life in Narok are not easy, and they see few of the benefits of those rich resources. Many live on less than US$1 a day, barely enough to survive. A lack of clean drinking water, food and housing creates challenges that seem impossible to escape. Crossroads’ partner NGO in Narok is helping their community fight to break free from the web of poverty. They offer agricultural services, distribute food, clothing and household goods, help provide access to clean drinking water and are giving education to children in the area.

Potential impact:

  • Computers will help set up an IT-centre in the school, teaching computer skills to children and young adults.
  • Community-building through the distribution of clothing and other essentials.
  • Establish new professions of vocational training

Shipment includes:

  • Clothing, medical supplies and toys
  • Computers, scanners, printers and more

A90School happens under the trees for these students. Their school doesn’t have the space and facilities to cater for the number of children they want to help.Because the area floods easily in the rainy season, it poses further inconveniences and risks such as increased malaria risk. The school is constructing new classrooms to cope with demand, but needs the furniture to fill them!

The shipment from Crossroads will include furniture and more to equip the newly build classrooms of this school.

 

 



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Joseph, aged 5, is an orphan who lives with his grandmother, together with his brother and two sisters. When their thatched house collapsed, they were left homeless. His grandmother, herself a widow, couldn`t afford to take care of Joseph and his siblings. Thankfully they got some support from our partner organisation who helped his  grandmother to start a little corn selling business which now provides for the needs of the family. 

The shipment will include materials to improve the school Joseph attends, which will care for needs of many more children.


 

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Kenya Snapshot

Capital: Nairobi
Population: 45.55 million. About half of the population is under 18.

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 44%

There are 1.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS ,  1 million children orphaned because of AIDS, and 2.6 million orphans in total.
More than a quarter of children are involved in child labour, mostly in agriculture, but also in the mining industry.

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Education and community development

Far from the bustling capital city, many villages in Zambia’s countryside are struggling to catch up to the nation’s growth. In this shipment’s target area, people earn their living through subsistence farming, growing maize, pineapples, cassava, bananas, and beans, but only enough to feed their family. Finding extra money for more nutritious food, medicine for a sick child or further education is impossible for many.

“Many children walk almost naked, because they have no clothes, even as areas are growing, children are leaving school, only to end up not doing anything.” wrote our partner NGO.

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Crossroads’ partners are helping their community of 25,000 move out of this hand-to-mouth existence by teaching better farming methods, new business skills,   training young people in computers, supporting village schools and equipping health clinics. They have asked us for a shipment of goods that will boost and grow their education and community development programmes.

Shipment includes:

  • Clothing for orphans, elderly and vulnerable families
  • School stationery and books for community schools
  • Medical supplies and equipment for health clinics
  • School furniture to equip poor village schools

    A87Carlos was neglected by his family because of his disability. He used to walk around on his knees, often getting cuts from broken glass, and couldn’t play with other children. Crossroads’ partner worked with his family to help them appreciate and help Carlos. Staff now give him a regular food and financial allowance that lifts the family’s burden, and as well as clothes, they found crutches for Carlos to be able to walk upright for the first time. Today, he can even play football with the neighborhood children!

  • This shipment will include clothes, school equipment, household items and other goods that will directly benefit vulnerable children like Carlos.


    Communities here are close-knit, but many struggle with a lack of basic daily needs. “Some elderly are starving from a lack of food, or only eating mangoes,” wrote staff.

     

    A51In this community in Eastern Angola, on Zambia’s border, there are so few formal schools that some children have classes under a mango tree (above). During the rainy season, they simply can’t go to school. Others are in a one-room school trying to cater for 200 students. “There are only three desks for 40 pupils at a time and children write on their knees. Most of them sit  on logs,” writes a staff member.Staying in school, and breaking out of poverty,  is difficult with all these odds stacked against them, but Crossroads’ partner is helping children in  Zambia and in Eastern Angola, just across the border, gain access to better educational opportunities. Once those children graduate, they’re then helping them train in useful skills like using computers, beekeeping and fish farming.

     

    This shipment will include goods like school desks and chairs to equip very under-resourced rural schools.

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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.

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Education and job creation

Burundi_1Life for marginalised groups in rural Burundi is tough. Orphans, widows, teenagers and minority tribespeople are all among those who are most vulnerable in their communities. While 83,000 in Burundi are still living with HIV/Aids, that number is, thankfully, declining. This is in part because of the efforts of groups such as our partners, who have a network of community educators visiting and speaking with villages about the risks and prevention.

Crossroads’ partner in Burundi is creating training and job opportunities for vulnerable people groups, as well as educating orphans and teaching communities about HIV prevention. Our shipment will help them expand and continue these programmes.

Potential impact:

  • 2,000 reached through HIV and other education workshops
  • 50 youth training in computer centre
  • 500 orphans and widows supported with necessities and healthcare
  • Thousands offered free health check-ups and tests

Shipment includes:

  • Computers for youth training centre
  • Clothing and blankets for orphans and widows
  • Medical supplies and equipment for free clinics
  • Appliances and furniture to support HIV education

    A80When Mahuwa talks to women about HIV/Aids and sexual violence, she’s speaking from tragic experience. Mahuwa was once working as a prostitute, trying desperately to support her child when she was raped and fell pregnant to her attacker. Now, instead of working in the sex industry, she supports her family by teaching women in her community about their rights, and  how to prevent HIV/Aids.

    This shipment will include office equipment and furniture to help train and employ more women like Mahuwa as community peer educators.


A22When Fabrice (above) was just a little boy, every member of his family was killed in Burundi’s civil violence. Left alone in the world, Fabrice was driven out of his home and on to the streets. Like many young Burundian boys in his situation, Fabrice was drawn into the conflict and became a combat soldier, but he always longed to return to school for the education that he had missed out on. Thankfully, Crossroads’ partner was working in his area and met Fabrice. They enrolled him into school and covered the costs of his education. Fabrice graduated form 6 just last year!

This shipment will help train 50 youth like Fabrice in computer skills so that they have a better chance at a job after finishing school. Crossroads’ shipment will include computers for their centre.

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Burundi Snapshot

Population: 10.16 million
Capital: Bujumbura

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 81%

Burundi’s most recent civil war and genocide in the 1990s raised the national poverty level by 20%.

Burundi is ranked 167 out of 177 countries in the 2008 Human Development Index (based on 2005 data), and its infant and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in Africa.

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