WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Since late 2016, a conflict has been worsening in Cameroon between the French and English speaking populations. Tensions and violence have forced more than 160,000 people to flee their homes, becoming refugees or internally displaced people. Our partners in Cameroon on this shipment are working hard to continue to support health, education and human rights amidst the often chaotic conditions faced by their communities. “Most of the schools have been closed,” they write, “and the children are being deprived of their right to education.”

We have shipped twice to these partners, and both shipments have been highly strategic in their efforts to improve health, education and poverty in their communities. They told us that previous shipments have made impacts such as:

  • Increasing the exam success rate at schools, when ten institutions were given improved school supplies and furniture.
  • Better service and patient comfort levels at a rural health centre, after receiving medical supplies and equipment.
  • Upgrading head office and facilities using furniture, appliances and office equipment, helping them administer projects more effectively and retain staff.
  • More than 100 aid workers and other key stakeholders given training at workshops using equipment and supplies from Crossroads’ shipments.

With this next shipment, they have asked for goods to extend and expand their projects, such as a scheme to train 300 women in basic bookkeeping and business skills, and to launch a new HIV/Aids education campaign, as well as much more. We are grateful for another opportunity to give a capital investment of goods into their work once again.


How donated goods built a school

In one of Crossroads’ previous shipments to these partners, we included school goods and clothing. We couldn’t have imagined the impact these simple items could have on our partners’ orphanage. The goods kickstarted an education wing of the children’s home, and now they have a functioning school for these children who can now access caring, quality education. Here’s how they described it:

“The children in the orphanage had no new clothes and toys to play with nor books for reading.  We remedied this situation by providing them with clothes, toys and books. We made sure they were visited by national and international staff and volunteers who used the toys to play with them and the books to help them read. They then developed a culture of reading which lead to the building of a classroom in the premises of the orphanage. 

Our organisation carried out an online fundraising campaign to help raise money to build two classrooms. We achieved our goal and today there is a school in the orphanage.”

 

We look forward to including more clothing and school goods in this upcoming shipment.


The gift of basic furniture can lift the profile and build the capacity of a grassroots organisation. In our last shipment to these partners, they spoke of the impact of office furniture form the shipment: “All our staff now have office tables and chairs to sit on for better working conditions. We hold planning meetings with staff and stakeholders in our conference room which is solely equipped with donations received from Crossroad.” This next shipment will include furniture and other goods to equip the administration of projects.


People displaced by conflict through Cameroon are struggling with trauma, loss, and unemployment. Our partners support both displaced people in their new communities and those in the host communities who were already living in poverty, in great need of essentials like clothing, shoes and bedding.

Women displaced by war are offered counselling and job training through our partners’ projects. Crossroads included sewing machines in our last shipment, which are being used to help women learn dressmaking skills. This shipment will include more goods for job creation such as hairdressing equipment.

 

REFERENCE NO. S3318B

 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Cameroon snapshot

Population: 25.2 million
Capital: Yaoundé

Cameroon is in the west Central Africa region, with natural features including beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas.

Although the country as a whole has improved standards of literacy and healthcare, there is still a long way to go. Fewer than half of children go on to secondary education, and over 40% are involved in some kind of child labour. The current conflict has created more than 160,000 displaced people, and caused havoc in education and healthcare services.
Source: UNICEF

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“But what can I do at school to help others care?” We’re often asked this by students who undertake our x-periences, come out with deepened empathy and want to to see it translated into action at their schools.  It’s a conversation we love to have. Meena, in Beijing, is one who called, this year and spoke with our Global X-perience director on this very point.  She came up with a remarkable idea. She would hold an ‘Empathy Film Festival’ at school.

It was difficult at  first, though, and Meena quickly discovered that the path to world change isn’t always easy.

“There were so many times I thought my idea was dead — that maybe I should just give up,” she told us. “But the inspiration and the ideas we shared were too good to just let go. Slowly I was able to find other students and teachers who believed it was a good idea too.”

The end result of her perseverance? A communal 24 hour fast, to build empathy for the hungry, followed by an outdoor film festival showing films dealing with issues of world need, and US$2,000 raised to help the poor. We’re so proud of Meena for fanning the spark of an idea into flame, and passing that flame of compassion on to others!

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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.

S3938 Uganda project profile-4
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.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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.

A6

A better Start to Life

With just under 50% secondary school enrolment, Ghana’s children need help to stay in school.

S3940 Ghana project profile-11Children from poor families in rural Ghana are starting life so far behind their peers that it can seem impossible to break out of the poverty cycle. Lacking some of the most basic necessities like shoes and good clothes, it can be hard for some young children to attend school at all, and those that do, have frequent absences because of illnesses like malaria, diarrhoea, or having to stay home when other family members are sick. Add to this a lack of resources in their area, and the odds are stacked against these little ones. “The communities that work with lack social amenities like early childhood centres, libraries, computer laboratories, good roads, and good drinking water,” writes Crossroads’ partner, an NGO working in rural Ghana.

Crossroads is shipping to this group, to help them give Ghanaian children a better start to life. They already run highly successful literacy programmes and other child-centred activities, but they want to open an early childhood centre and a computer school to train teenagers in employable skills. Our shipment will help them establish these two new ventures.

Literacy unlocking futures

Our partners are trying to boost those numbers by encouraging and empowering children in their education.

S3940 Ghana project profile-4More than 80% of children in Ghana finish primary school, but that number plummets to less than 50% enrolment in secondary school. Our partners are trying to boost those numbers by encouraging and empowering children in their education. They run exciting programmes like interschool quiz competitions in rural communities, after-school literacy camps and even a “street library” that takes books to places without community libraries.

Little Oliver is one of their success stories. He was a below average student, but thanks to the street library and the literary club, he has improved so much that he participated in the regional Spelling Bee and is now the president of his school literary club! He was also selected as an assistant school prefect through his hard work.

Shipment will include:

  • Computers for office use, and to set up a computer lab for youth training
  • Office and household furniture, and household goods to set up a childcare centre
  • Clothes and shoes for impoverished families who don’t have enough of the basics to send their children to school

Crossroads’ shipment will support these literacy programmes that reach 5,000 children like Oliver.

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Ghana Snapshot

Capital: Accra

Population: 27 million. 45% of the population is under 18.

Ghana is in West Africa, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, and has a tropical climate. It is the fifth most stable state in Africa.
There are about 1 million children orphaned for a variety of reasons in the country.
34% of children are involved in some kind of child labour, and education is often inaccessible in rural areas.

Ghana_S3350_6

Tanzania

Ester was engaged to be married while she was in her mother’s womb. A child of a traditional tribe in Tanzania, Ester’s parents promised her to a man 50 years older than her. When Ester turned 9, the man, now 60, paid a dowry to her family, ready for marriage, but the little girl was understandably terrified, and ran away. At just 9 years of age, having fled from her family and her community, Ester joined the ranks of the world’s most vulnerable children, at high risk of exploitation and abuse, and certainly unlikely to finish an education. Thankfully for Ester, she finally found haven in a children’s home, one with which we recently partnered on a shipment. They took Ester in and today, she’s attending school and facing a secure future.

This group cares for orphans, street children, and girls escaping child marriages and abuse. The founders have very little themselves, but couldn’t help but act when they saw the needs of those who needed love most.

Tanzania school desks and books

When they received our shipment and wrote of its impact, the scarcity of resources to do the job was felt in every paragraph. “Our small school didn’t have tables and good chairs; we used our local benches. We didn’t have enough stationery, or toys for kids to play with, even a single one,” they said. “Since we received these items our school now has two more classes! Now we have four classes with good tables, chairs, stationery and all materials which are important for the kids to learn.”

Tanzania computers

In fact, the computers, furniture and supplies have lifted the status of their school to a place where other local families are eager to enroll their children! The fees that these other families pay are now making the orphanage itself more sustainable for the future, able to care for more children, and less dependent on donations. We’re so thankful to be part of unlocking the futures of little ones like Ester and her housemates.

Want to sponsor an international shipment?

We have several international shipments ready to set sail and waiting for sponsors! Your company, club, organisation or family can make a shipment happen.

Email us at partnerships@crossroads.org.hk for a list

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Tanzania Snapshot

Capital: Dodoma

Largest City: Dar es Salaam

Population: 47.4 million. About half of the population is under 18.

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 68%

There are 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS, with 1.2 million children orphaned due to AIDS out of a total of 3.1 million orphans.
21% of children are involved in child labour.

Tanzania_S3203_5

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Education and Vocational Training

Even though Fiji is a beautiful country, poverty is widespread, particularly in rural regions.

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-9Fiji might be a tropical paradise, but for many of the nation’s impoverished children, life is no holiday. The community where Crossroads’ partner NGO runs a school is facing deep poverty and high unemployment. This often leads to alcohol abuse, gambling and domestic violence, so that besides teaching their students, school staff often deal with problems the children bring into the classroom from home. The school addresses these problems by engaging not only the children but also their parents. Currently they are extending the school with five new classrooms, to ‘set an example for all Fiji schools’.

Potential impact:

  • Crossroads shipment will provide equipment to fill five new classrooms. Most of what they have requested is not available in Fiji or not affordable for the school
  • The new rooms will be used to train students in new topics, like Economics, digital design, wood and metalwork and much more

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-4Laisani (left), a Form 3 student, was badly burnt when the kerosene stove exploded at her home. Her family was reluctant to seek medical help for her as the traditional medicine man threatened to put a curse on the family. Laisani badly needed medical treatment, so staff from the school visited Laisani and her parents. The care and concern of teachers and students gave Laisani the courage to continue with her studies despite the disfigurement from her injuries. She is now healing well.

 

 

 


S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-3Virisila (left) is a sensitive and compassionate student, gifted in music and dance, but violence at home made it hard for her to concentrate at school. Her father was constantly angry and wouldn’t give permission for her to take part in extra-school activities. She asked a teacher and volunteer to visit her family and talk to her father. When they came, Virisila’s father had the opportunity, for the first time ever, to tell his story in front of his family. He had experienced a lifetime of rejection, emotional deprivation and pain. The father asked how he could find peace and relief from the anger he felt. A time of family forgiveness and healing followed. Now, Virisila feels greater self-confidence, an increased ability to concentrate and a desire to succeed. The entire family is happier and healthier, thanks to reconciliation efforts of her school.

Shipment includes:

  • Computer equipment
  • Calculators, powder paint, cooking pots, acoustic guitars, school chairs and more

This shipment will include furniture and equipment to help give a rich, holistic education to vulnerable Fijian children.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Fiji Snapshot

Population: around 850,000
Capital: Suva
Population living below the national poverty line of US$3.3 per day: 45%

Compared to its neighbours, Fiji is relatively well developed, though it is the 61st poorest country in the world, comparable with the Philippines.

Fiji consists of 332 islands, of which 110 are inhabited.

Fiji’s main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name “Fiji” is derived.

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-11

Building Hope in the Slums

S36932.jpgIn the slums of the Uganda capital Kampala, for many there is no bright outlook on their future. Our partner NGO is working hard to change this by offering a wide range of community building programs. According to them the economy in Uganda is growing, but only a small number of people are benefitting from this, increasing the gap between poor and rich. To give more people the change to find a more sustainable way of living, the NGO is offering free education to children and adults, is offering vocational training, is providing free health care and even is involved in housing programs which will survive the next storm.

The work is vast and fruitful, but to increase it even further the NGO is relying on help from outside. Our shipment will impact their work heavily, allowing them to move to a next level of offering help to the poor.


By giving them a small loan at the end the NGO also provides the means needed to fulfil their dream.

S36931Nambalirwa  Ruth is one of the women who benefitted from the business program of our partner NGO. During this program people will be offered a vocational training to start their own small business. The NGO offers a variety of skills from hair cutting to opening a small vegetable stall, like Ruth did.
The aim is to motivate and build on the skills people are already having. By giving them a small loan at the end the NGO also provides the means needed to fulfil their dream. Having an own business does not only provides in a basic living for Ruth and her family. It also gives her a feeling of self-confidence. Knowing she holds the future in her own hands.


Shipment includes:

  • School uniforms
  • 200 school desks- and chairs.
  • 50 boxes of school and office stationary
  • Sport items and games for the children
  • A projector and television
  • 10 beds
  • And much more…

 

This shipment will include goods to help train many more women like Ruth, providing them a future and a way out of poverty.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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.

A6

Job Creation and Training

S36881UN statistics indicate that up to 78% of Zambians in rural areas are living in poverty, as our consignee for this shipment can attest. When the large mining company in their town closed down, huge numbers of people lost their jobs and are now struggling to survive. Along with the loss of jobs came the demise of medical clinics and sports clubs and other social amenities also run by the mining company. Added to this is the HIV/AIDs problem, which has resulted in many orphaned children in this area. Our consignee aims to improve and change people’s lifestyles. Their programmes focus heavily on education and training to impart marketable skills and bring hope for the future. This is the third shipment to this organisation that has proved well able to use what we send.

 

4Brian (right) benefitted greatly from the computers which arrived in a container from Crossroads – he learnt up-to-date skills at the project’s computer school and was able to find work in a business centre. Then he was able to take part in a government election registration exercise, and with the money he was paid he started ‘B and D business centre’, employing four people!

 

Potential impact:

  • Computer training for at least another 50 young people.
  • A Sewing centre to train at least another 50 young people.
  • Clothing and essentials for 125 school children & wider families.
  • Children from remote areas able to attend school.

Shipment includes:

  • Computers & sewing machines for school and vocational training
  • A minibus for bussing children to school
  • School chairs, desks and equipment
  • Clothing and household goods for local communities.

 

This shipment will help their project to improve the lives of children in the area and give hope for the future.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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.

A65

Christine, a 49 year-old widow, lives in a grass thatched house with her 8 grandchildren whose parents died from HIV/AIDS. She had very limited household resources – just one saucepan, two plates, no bed and no mosquito net. Her grandchildren were not going to school because they didn’t have the school supplies and clothes they needed. Finding enough food to feed all nine of them has been a huge struggle for Christine, and the children regularly suffer from bouts of malaria. They were often bored and restless.

“I thought I had been forgotten” – Widowed grandmother of 8

Uganda elderlyLife changed for Christine and the 8 little ones when a shipment arrived from Crossroads, filled with goods donated from Hong Kong. Our partners in Uganda came into contact with Christine and her family and were able to give her some of the very things she needed most: mosquito nets, new plates, cups and cooking utensils, toys, clothes and games for the children and, most importantly, uniforms and stationery so that they can return to school.

“I thought I had been forgotten,” Christine exclaimed when she received the goods. Staff told us that she hugged everybody and danced around with joy!

Uganda schoolIt wasn’t only impoverished families like Christine’s that benefited from the shipment. Goods from this container were used to invest in community schools and health centres. At one clinic, some patients were sleeping on the floor because the number of beds was insufficient. Now, beds from Crossroads mean that more patients can be treated and served in comfort and safety.

In one rural secondary school (right), students sat on the floor for lessons because they didn’t have desks and chairs. Uganda school chairsSchool furniture from Crossroads’ shipment means that now, not only can they sit at desks and chairs each day for more effective learning and concentration, but the school has been upgraded to an exam facility! This means children no longer have to travel to a different village for exams but can sit them at their own school.

It’s truly been a story of transformation for this Ugandan community, and one for which we’re so very grateful to our donors and sponsors!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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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.

A6

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