“We need almost everything!” SARDA (Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers) staff told us when describing their many drug rehabilitation facilities across Hong Kong.

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We listened in amazement at the massive nature of their services, with branches all across Hong Kong that help addicts recover, rehabilitate and retrain. They undertake this huge operation on a simple budget with great dedication, but limited financial resources. We offered to help outfit their centres which had not been refurbished for years. Twenty trucks left our premises, laden with provision that SARDA had selected. It was our biggest ever single donation to an NGO.

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Furniture from Crossroads now supports SARDA’s community homes for recovering addicts. Computers and desks have set up a new training scheme (below) to teach IT skills.

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Crossroads loves to make an injection of capital, through donated goods, when financial capital is not in the offering. “It can be hard to finding funding for drug addicts,” said one of the SARDA staff. It seems that donations are not easily given for drug addicts because “people think they’ve brought it on themselves and don’t deserve help. But we believe everyone deserves a second chance.”

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“Meet my colleague. He has been to prison seven times”, says the director of the Kazakh rehab centre. He beams as he speaks, though, because his colleague, like others in the centre, has not touched alcohol or drugs for a long time now and is no longer in danger of another prison term for associated crime.

All of the men here are middle aged. All have spent decades battling the pull of addiction. But, in this shelter, they have been winning that fight and there seems an almost palpable sense of relief.

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Each man plays a role in the modest lifestyle they share. They work the gardens until the snows come. They chop their own wood. They make one nourishing vat of soup each day and bake their own bread to serve with it. It’s minimal, but this shelter offers a safe place.

That safety, however, is at risk. A philanthropist who formerly funded much of their work, has now left the country and his attentions have moved elsewhere. If the centre has to close, the men will be out on the streets.

They have an idea, though, that may help them stay sustainable. They have three containers in their yard which have now been all but emptied of the beds, blankets, clothing, washing machines, computers, desks, chairs, tiles and other items we sent from Hong Kong.

The men have arranged the containers as the outer rim of an automobile repair workshop which will, hopefully, provide them with enough income to stay open. The nicest of the containers is a brightly painted one donated by FABBAs (Hong Kong Fund Managers’ Asian Brokers’ and Bankers’ Awards). It will face on to the street to receive customers, with a door cut in its side and a ‘shop’ area within. If all goes according to plan, FABBAs’ generosity will prove be a gift that keeps on giving.

We salute FABBAs for a decade of strategic partnership with Crossroads, one which has seen many thousands of lives touched around the world.

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Kazakhstan Snapshop

Population: 17.9 million
Capital: Astana

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country by land area and ninth largest country in the world. The climate is continental, with warm summers and colder winters.

The GDP per capita is US$12,950 or around $35 per day. In Hong Kong, the GDP per capita is US$33,534 or $91 per day.

kazkhstan

 

South Africa: Investing in slum communities

FEEDBACK: On the outskirts of a notoriously violent South African city, a community group has been working tirelessly to create pathways out...

read more ...

The Gambia: Rural community support

FEEDBACK: Covid-19 has had ripple effects through rural Gambia. Village markets were forced to close as part of social distancing measures, which...

read more ...

Volunt-HERO Program

Our Volunt-HERO programme is a series of special 'thank-you's to Crossroads' volunteers who go above and beyond to help us help...

read more ...

Poland: Helping Ukrainian refugees

WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING? As the conflict continues in Ukraine, millions of refugees have been forced to cross the border into...

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