WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Along the border between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) there are nine camps housing more than 93,000 refugees, mostly from ethnic minorities such as the Karen group. They are living in a desperate state of limbo. Without proper papers, refugee children here can’t attend school or even travel to larger cities once they’re older, meaning they grow up stuck in the same poverty cycle they were born into. They are extremely vulnerable to disease, violence, rape, drug abuse and human trafficking.

Crossroads has been partnering with an NGO working at Mae Sot, near the largest of these border refugee camps. Knowing that children here can’t access formal schooling, they started their own schools – four so far – where children are given love, attention and a quality education. While basic and in desperate need of resources, these schools provide a place where the children are safe and protected, and where they can access a level of education otherwise out of their reach. They are excited to be constructing a new school building, creating a more secure environment to care for children from families who work at the nearby rubbish dump. They have the space now, but are seeking the equipment and furniture to fill it.

Crossroads is preparing a shipment of goods to bring the school buildings to life and equip other parts of their work with refugee families. We hope to include goods like school and office furniture, clothing and shoes, computers, appliances, beds and more.


A safe haven for orphaned refugee children

Some of the goods from this shipment will furnish a dormitory building (pictured left, under construction) for orphaned refugee students at our partners’ school.

Sadly, some have suffered abuse or are at high risk of abuse, being alone and vulnerable. This new building will create a safer place for them to live while they study.

 


Despite scarce resources, our partners’ schools are places of hope and joy, where each child is given care, attention, and an education.

More than 100 migrant and refugee families live on this rubbish dump in Mae Sot, where they collect plastic to sell for a few cents a kilogram.


Reference No : S5507

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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

The school by the dump

For students at our partners’ newest school, an education could mean breaking out of a life sifting through trash. Most of these children live with their families at the Mae Sot rubbish dump, where people sort and collect pieces of discarded plastic and other trash to sell to earn a living.

“Children here have nothing to do,” wrote staff. “Young girls that stay home with nothing to do are often raped by men that are drunk. They need education.”

We are looking forward to supplying the school with a huge amount of needed goods through this shipment, such as furniture, computers, clothing, recreational equipment and other goods.

Thailand snapshot

Population: 69.4 million
Capital: Bangkok
Official languages: Thai
Language spoken in Mae Sot refugee camp: Karen and other dialects

In recent decades, Thailand’s economy has grown at a remarkable rate, reducing poverty from 67% to below 10% in just 30 years. Rural areas and certain communities, like the refugees living along the Burma border, though, have not benefited in the same way as the urban population. Refugees in the border camps are living in desperate poverty, with very little hope of improving their circumstances.
Sources: UNHCR, World Bank

 

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“It’s really important that you do this because it lets you understand what we go through.’

The young refugee was speaking to world leaders, at Davos, international heads of multi-national companies, government members, NGO leaders. And they hung on her every word.

Yusra Mardini and her sister, Sarah, fled Damascus when their home was destroyed in August, 2015. They made it to the Turkish coast where human smugglers put them in a badly overcrowded boat which, soon, began to sink. The sisters, both swimmers, jumped into the sea and helped swim the boat to Lesvos, Greece: a three hour marathon. Later, they found refuge in Germany and Yusra went on to represent the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio, 2016. Sarah, whose shoulder was damaged in the rescue, volunteered for humanitarian work in the Lesvos camps.

Yusra spoke after our refugee simulation at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos: a programme in which participants step ‘into the shoes’ of refugees. They are forced to make choices as they taste, for just a brief time, what it feels like to be disempowered and left vulnerable to potential abuse. Many were profoundly moved.

Yusra Mardini shares her story

 

This page features a few quotes from Davos participants.

“Everything I came here to say you have just experienced”.

– Filippo Grandi. United Nations Commssioner for Refugees, post refugee simulation in Davos.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, during the debrief and engagement session after he joined the simulation.

 

“This simulation is the most powerful way I’ve seen to enter into the world of refugees, empathise with their suffering and renew commitment to bring hope.”

– Kevin Jenkins. President / CEO World Vision International.

 

“I think it is very important for us to bring the simulation to Davos… because people like us often feel the world forgets us. They make policy and other decisions at their level, not ours. They don’t know what life is like on the ground.’

– David Livingstone Okello. Former child soldier/IDP

 

“I work in international development on issues related to refugees and identity and there is simply nothing I’ve done or experienced that carried such impact. Thank you, thank you.”

– Dakota Gruener, Executive Director, ID2020

 

“75 minutes to open your eyes and your heart.”

– Thomas Gass, UN DESA, with Antonio Gueterres’ office

 

“One of the most profound things I’ve done in my life.”

– Privahini Bradroo. BlueOak.  Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Council on Advanced Materials

 

“Incredibly moving, terrifying and critical experience. Thank you for the very thoughtful and experienced staff.”

– Scarlet Cronin, Tent Foundation/MasterCard


WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM 2017 SPONSORS

We bring our refugee simulation to world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, each January. This would be impossible without the generous financial support of these partners, who sponsored the simulation in 2017.

Cathay Pacific

Facebook

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Linklaters

Mastercard

Nestle

UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency

UPS


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

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Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

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As refugee families battle for survival with the ongoing conflict in Syria, education is one of the greatest casualties. While living in Syria, prior to the fighting, many refugees had professional careers and their children looked forward to the same. Now, however, gifted young people watch their career aspirations fade as education moves beyond their reach. The Basmeh and Zeitooneh’s Women’s Workshop in Shatila refugee camp trains 120 Palestinian and Syrian refugee women in embroidery and in crochet, allowing them an opportunity to sell their production and earn an income with dignity. This is allowing mothers to put their children in school. We are selling their embroidery in our marketplace. Every piece helps another woman and, very often, another child.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

At 13, Kareem, a thirteen year old Syrian refugee, was the sole breadwinner for his mother and sisters. He worked in a car mechanic shop, leaving home at 5.30 am and returning at 11 pm. This brought in US$7 a day. School, of course, was out of the question. His boss took advantage of the young boy, abusing him physically, emotionally, mentally and even sexually. He also ‘sold’ Kareem to other customers, at US$1 per time, for sex services.

When Kareem heard that the Refugee Run was to be held at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, he made one plaintive request:

‘When you meet with people there, tell them ‘Don’t let the world forget us.’

After the Refugee Run, many participants, deeply touched by the simulation, were wonderfully responsive. One, herself a refugee from the Lebanese conflict in 1982, took action. She raised funds to support education in Lebanon for hundreds of refugee children. Among those now in school, wonderfully, is Kareem.

Sometimes people ask the purpose of the experiential activities we run. The answer is simple. We want to reach participants so they, in turn, can reach those who are in dire need of support.


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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

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

Madina, 17, faced a wretched set of options as a refugee in Uganda. She and her family fled the war in southern Sudan but there was little by way of support for her or the four younger sisters who needed care. Her mother asked her to marry so that the bridal price would help. Madina did not want to marry for that reason alone and sought to alleviate their need with income from occasional work.

As a refugee, though, without much education or training, she couldn’t hope to get a good, steady job.

Crossroads sent a shipment to the town where Madina lives, and she was identified by our local partner to benefit. They gave Madina a ‘start up package’ of things she could use to begin a small clothing business. Now, she owns a mobile business selling clothes door to door.

“You are different”, she told them, with gratitude. “You have made me feel loved in a foreign land.  With this new business, I will be able to provide for my mother and pay school fees for my sisters instead of marrying. You are changing our lives.”

Also included in the container was furniture for three schools, along with provision for many of the most impoverished families in the community.

“You have helped put a smile on many of these faces,” the NGO told us. “You have helped restore hope to those that had lost hope.”


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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

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

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

The Refugee All Stars, recorded by record label Epitaph Europe B.V., began with a group of six musicians who lived in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, during the era of the country’s horrifying civil war. In a rebel campaign named ‘Operation Kill Every Living Thing’, soldiers descended on Freetown and caused a panicked mass exodus, with thousands of civilians fleeing the region, and ending up in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. It was in one of these camps that the six musicians found each other and began singing songs of hope, pain and freedom for their fellow refugees. Today the group has returned to Freetown, recorded CDs, been the subject of an internationally-acclaimed documentary, and joined hands with many other musicians, still advocating for refugee issues through their uplifting, buoyant songs that speak the African refugee story.

 


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

Mikono Refugee Crafts is based in Kenya.

All Mikono handicrafts are made by refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda and Mozambique. Most of these refugees are slum dwellers with the desire and the need to earn a living. Their status does not allow them to find jobs easily but through Mikono they are given the opportunity to use the skills acquired from their home country to make handicrafts that are sold to help support them and their families. Thank you for changing the lives of African refugees through your purchase of a Mikono product!


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

SHOP

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

Six year old Hannah from Hong Kong proved you’re never too young to make a difference. After hearing about the plight of Syrian refugee children, Hannah decided she did not want gifts for her birthday. Instead, she asked the guests at her party to donate help for Syrian refugees. She raised HK$3,300. Each of the kids who gave also sent their photo and a note of support which Crossroads included in packages of clothes and toys that were distributed to kids in refugee camps.

Little campaigners can make a mighty difference.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...