“War, poverty, refugees, modern-day slavery. Many people look at global issues, and long to see change occur. But can one person’s life really make a difference? Yes!”
David Begbie, Director of Crossroads’ Global X-perience

It was a mighty goal: running a full-day conference for 180 students and staff at a large international school in Beijing, with workshops, talks from international experts and complex discussions. Crossroads’ Global X-perience team was planning to travel and be there in person, until Covid hit and the entire event changed course to an online conference.

Our team worked closely with teachers to deliver the conference with interactive elements across the day. Spokesman David Begbie addressed the whole school (pictured above), as well as doing a live Q&A, and they showed personalised video talks from speakers like former child soldier David Livingstone and peace campaigner and author Zak Ebrahim. The students and teachers workshopped together on ways that they could engage with these urgent issues.

“Students were captivated by the speakers, participated with lots of passion during the discussion portion and had some great questions during the Q&A,” said the coordinating teacher. She said that the students are now fired up and keen to take action, ready to incorporate what they’ve learnt into their major projects for the year.

In these unpredictable times, schools are having to pivot to new and uncharted ways of learning. Crossroads is here to help.

Online and offline options

As of October 2020, we are taking bookings once more for some of our experiential simulations, with limitations around Covid-19 health and safety. However, we can also help your students can engage with important world issues online. Email globalx@crossroads.org.hk to talk!

Video resources

We’ve also prepared a range of videos on issues of poverty, which you can use freely in classrooms here:

How has Covid-19 impacted orphans, refugees and children at risk around the world?

How is Covid-19 affecting fair trade producers?

How is COVID-19 affecting people in poverty?

The challenge of water access around the world

For younger children, we’ve taken our Silk Road Storytime sessions online! You are welcome to use the videos at the links below, which include stories and crafts that encourage preschoolers to be empathetic global citizens:

Crossroads Silk Road Storytime – The Magic Paintbrush

Crossroads Silk Road Storytime – Biblioburro

Crossroads Silk Road Storytime – Circles of Hope

Crossroads Silk Road Story Time – One Hen

Crossroads Silk Road Story Time: The Colour of Home

Crossroads Silk Road Story Time – The Snail and the Whale

Want to talk further?

Start the conversation about how we can help your school connect with a world in need. Email globalx@crossroads.org.hk

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140 students from Diocesan Girls’ School had a taste of inequality when they did our ‘Some, Tonnes, None’ simulation in 2018. Along with many other Hong Kong schools, DGS makes Crossroads a regular fixture on their school calendar, as part of their curriculum unit of growing global citizens. One little girl, who was given an empty plate, remembered how it felt to see a classmate in her group holding a plate piled high with food.

“Now I think of those people who lack resources and keep struggling for a basic living,” she said afterwards. “It is really sad to know that there are many people who are still suffering chronic hunger.”

The parents of students who do this programme have told us they talk about it for months: face to face with a planet where 20% of the people live on 80% of world resources and vice versa.

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Educating orphans and training youth

In Zambia, where 80% of rural families are living below the poverty line (UNICEF), this shipment has provided immeasurable support to schools, children’s homes and unemployed youth in rural Zambia. Before the shipment arrived, staff described the lack of resources that is keeping community children in poverty in one of their target schools:

“The room is packed with a sea of small bodies in khaki uniforms, some sprawling on the dirt floor trying to balance their note books and write at the same time. The lucky few who get desks are tightly squeezed together on the on the same bench, elbows touching as they scrawl notes while the teacher talks and writes on the chalkboard. The metal sheet that serves as a roof makes the room hot and stuffy.”

 

When Crossroads’ shipment arrived from Hong Kong, filled with school goods, toys, furniture and other items, excitement at the news spread quickly!

 

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“You should have been here to see the tears of joy trickling down faces,” they wrote. “THANK YOU CROSSROADS!!!! Together we are making things happen. Some kids that came to witness were nervous at seeing what was going on. Some of them have never seen such BIG cars, let alone standing side by side.”

Some of these goods have already been distributed, including:

  • Furniture to outfit the community’s library
  • Toys and educational supplies for school children
  • Baby equipment, toys and supplies for an orphanage caring for 0-3 year olds

 

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Still more of the goods, though, are now waiting onsite to be installed at the project’s most exciting new endeavour: a new school building (right), which will be able to better cater to the community children’s needs with more space, more classrooms and now, thanks to this shipment, better desks and chairs.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Zambia Snapshot

Zambia Snapshot

Population: 14.83 million

Capital: Lusaka

Zambia is a 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.

map

Building a Supportive Community

 

…but it is a world away from the facilities available there.

Microsoft Word - S3493 Uganda Project profile_EDITED_TY

In this town in Central Uganda, people face daily struggles to feed their families, send their children to school and access health care. It may be only 50 km from the capital, Kampala, but it is a world away from the facilities available there. The people engage in subsistence farming, petty trading and some go fishing. Everyone finds it difficult to make ends meet. Crossroads is shipping to a project engaged in community development programmes, including a nursery and primary school, construction of homes for the elderly and disabled, supporting children with HIV/AIDS, skills training for young people including small scale income-generating plans, and renovation of community wells and springs.

Potential impact:

  • Improved facilities and equipment for 1400 school children
  • Equipping two new village schools for 500 children
  • Computers for skills training for 600 young people

Microsoft Word - S3493 Uganda Project profile_EDITED_TY

We are told that Justine (right) was one of the most beautiful teenagers in her village; she married early and had 3 children. But tragically, they all died, her husband abandoned her and she fell victim to a wasting disease. Justine now lives with her elderly mother, and our partners have built them a 3 roomed house. She is a remarkable woman, with a welcoming spirit, who keeps smiling and showing love and gratitude to those around her.

 

 


Shipment includes:

  • Books, stationery and basic school supplies
  • School furniture and toys
  • Computers for vocational training & administration
  • Clothing and household goods for local communities.

 

This shipment will help our partners build homes for vulnerable elderly and disabled people by including administrative goods like office equipment.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Donate to a shipment like this one.

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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

Protection and Opportunity for families

Our partner in Tanzania is working in a region which is stricken by huge drought. With water scarce, harvests have failed, leaving many people victim to starvation. Livestock, the main source of income, died on a huge scale leaving the region’s inhabitants with no or little source of income. HIV/Aids has affected many families, leaving children without parents or caregivers. These children are the ones our partner in Tanzania is giving care to. Since beginning, they have been able to send 52 of these children to school and to provide them with shelter, food and clothes. Many more are still waiting for a similar change to a more normal life.

 Ester is aA42 Maasai girl who is living at our consignee’s orphanage centre. Before Ester was even born, she was married off to a man nearly 50 years older than her. Her future husband paid a dowry to her family when Ester was 9 years old to take her as his wife. However, when Ester heard she was being forced to marry, she ran away to the orphanage.  Here she was taken in with care and protection.

 

They helped her attend school and Ester has now finished class seven. She still lives at the orphanage  and is waiting for her result to go to secondary school.

 

Tanzania_2

Potential impact: Providing education for the community and especially to orphaned, widows and youth. The shipment includes clothing, desks, chairs and bookshelves, guitars, keyboards and trumpets

 

Crossroads shipment will help more girls like Ester grow and receive an education.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Donate to a shipment like this one.

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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, 1.2 million children orphaned because of AIDS, and 3.1 million orphans in total, in Tanzania.
21% of children in Tanzania are involved in child labour.

A44

Mong Kok school water challenge“I want to help, and you have opened my hands, desperate to do something.” Hong Kong school student

Since we started running poverty simulations for groups of Hong Kong school students, we’ve hardly been able to keep up with the demand for bookings! When children spend a few hours at Crossroads taking part in experiences like the Refugee Run or the Struggle for Survival, they emerge bubbling over with ideas about what they can do to help fix their broken world.
Mong Kok Kai Oi School brought a group of primary students to do Crossroads’ ‘Water Challenge’ (pictured right). It was a day that not only enriched the students’ English language skills, being immersed in English throughout the activity, but one in which they explored the burden of gathering water shouldered by the 1.1 billion people who lack access to clean water, and solutions to help.School group struggle for survivalStudents at Kingston School (in ‘Living with a Disability’ simulation, above) were so inspired by simulations they took part in at Crossroads that they went back to the classroom and came up with a strategy to raise enough money to sponsor two shipments of aid – one to a school in Zimbabwe, another to help orphans and foster families in Moldova.Crossroads has helped, literally, hundreds of Hong Kong school groups engage with world need since we began our Global X-perience programmes in 2005.

Want to book an x-perience for your school?

Click here to talk to us about how we can help your school group engage with poverty issues and explore solutions to help!
Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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

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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 ...

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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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