If you saw the movie, Hotel Rwanda, you’ll remember its searing agony. The pain was almost palpable.

There was a deeper tragedy, though. A journalist in the movie captured it well. People, he said, would see the suffering ‘and say “That’s horrible” and then go on eating their dinners.’ He was right.. The Rwandan genocide, in 1994, saw 800,000 people killed while we, globally, largely turned our backs.  One of the worst aspects of war is that we get ‘used’ to it.

The pain of Rwanda’s refugees has continued from that day until now. So has the need for help. In 2004, some of our team happened upon Rwandan refugees living in Kenya. Although ten years had passed since the end of the war, they were still unable to go home. Today, many remain.

How can they survive? Many lost everything in the conflict: family, home and possessions. The one thing war could not take, though, was their tradition. So these enterprising Rwandans put their age-old skills to good work and created cards and crafts to sell, distributed through NGOs around the world. In Crossroads, we have sold their highly original work ever since we met them, helping generate income for them, on a fair trade basis. A big seller has been their fascinating Christmas sets, made with stunning character and ‘packaged’ in a gourd from their region.

We often say, at Crossroads, we invest ‘for life’.  It’s been a decade since these Rwandan refugees started selling through us and they continue to today. Ten years is not a long time in the aftermath of war.  

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 ...

When Rwanda suffered its inimitable ethnic fighting, the result was not simply war. It was genocide. In 100 days, the country saw 500,000 people killed. Bertrand Russel called it, “The most horrible and systematic human massacre we have had occasion to witness since the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.”

The images of death from that period are searing. So is the legacy the country continues to battle as it tries to reconstruct, train its youth and equip them for a different future. The population averages US$1.57 per day. Good employment, and the training that enables it, are therefore critical.

A simple gift of tools can help. There are training centres in the country helping young people master employable skills. The equipment they need, however, may be beyond their reach.

Knowing the depth of need in many communities, Ian Wells (pictured), one of Crossroads’ long term community volunteers, offered a huge set of tools on Global Hand, our match-making website. They were snapped up by a Rwandan carpentry centre.

Tools - Ian

With drills, saws, vices, chisels, hammers, screwdrivers and more – a treasure trove for this impoverished area – the donation was collected from the UK and shipped to Rwanda.

“Rwanda is clinically dead as a nation,” said Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, at the time of the genocide.  As better quality employment opportunities open up, this country is, increasingly, able to give the next generation a greater chance at life.

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 ...