The deaf population of China numbers around 72 million.  Since the majority of deaf young people are unable to find adequate employment, many turn to gangs, theft, and drugs. In an effort to curb this growing trend, Hearts & Hands offers employment to deaf people in the handicrafts business. All the workers are disabled or deaf, and they are each able to learn useful skills while working in a friendly, encouraging environment. Thank you for offering your support to these people and giving them the hope they need!

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.

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China Snapshot

Population: 1.35 billion

Capital: Beijing

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 11%, or 157 million people

China is experiencing rapid economic growth, but the benefits have not reached millions of people in rural areas. People who are already poor are the most vulnerable to death, injury and loss of livelihood when floods and earthquakes hit.

Natural disasters in China affect more than 200 million people every year.

China_S1359U_6

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Freeset, an organisation based in the heart of Calcutta’s red light district, offers employment to women who want to escape prostitution. For the approximately 10,000 sex workers in this area, “poverty has left them without options. The cries of their hungry children drive them to sell their bodies,” says Freeset. Working with Freeset can provide some of these women with an alternative life – a life of freedom.

Handmade in India from eco-friendly jute, all stylized with some Indian charm, our Freeset products turn heads as well as helping set women and their families improve their lives.

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Bread of Life cards and handicraft items are made by people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the struggling, post-war nation of Former Yugoslavia.

Many find it difficult to find work, even if they are highly skilled and experienced. Proceeds from these products contribute to the work of Bread of Life, and to the craftspeople and their families. Thank you for helping us to support them through your purchase!

Handicrafts Shop Producers

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Lily, of China, was abandoned at the gate of an orphanage after her father abused and burned her. Left with terrible burn scars and unresolved emotional pain, Lily grew up in the institution feeling insecure and isolated. She loved to sew, but she would do it alone, without anyone to correct her mistakes or teach her new techniques.

When Lily was a young adult, Dorcas Design, a Chinese social enterprise, invited her to come to Guangzhou as a trainee in their sewing workshop, where they train people with disabilities to produce quilted handicrafts.

It was the beginning of Lily’s new life.

Today, Lily has a prosthetic right leg, her left leg covered in scar tissue, and a metal joint in her left ankle, yet she walks straight and tall with dignity, knowing she now works in a place that offers her respect and the chance to be self-sufficient.

You can purchase one of the quilted qipao bags made at Dorcas Design through the Global Handicrafts online shop, with more Dorcas Design products available instore!

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Amina (below) was only 13 years old when she was raped and fell pregnant to her attacker. Her family rejected her and she had no way to support her child. Even finding clothes for the baby was beyond her.

NGO_single_teenage_mother

Thankfully, an NGO met Amina and took her into their programmes. They found her a home, and gave her clothes for her and her baby, but they knew her most important need was for a way to fund her future.

“She could hardly read or write,” they said, “but now she is registered with our training centre and is learning how to sew.” With these skills, Amina has the chance to make a real life for herself and her child.

When the NGO that helped Amina requested a shipment from Crossroads, they told us that building a computer centre to serve the area’s children and vulnerable women like Amina was high on their list of priorities.

“Without some kind of training or job skills, many single mothers can’t support their families at all,” they said.”We also help keep orphans in school by sponsoring their education, helping them with uniforms, school supplies and so on.”

When Crossroads’ shipment arrived, even torrential tropical rains couldn’t hold back their eagerness to start using the goods immediately! “The heavy rains have disturbed our distribution, but we have started some programmes already,” they wrote.

“With the computers, we are running women and kids for our school,” they told us. “Many of the kids have never seen a computer before and they are so excited to work on them!”

NGO_school_equipmentStationery, toys and school bags were also received with excitement (above), to distribute to children affected by HIV/Aids who frequently drop out of school because they can’t afford fees, supplies and uniforms!

We’re grateful to shipping company Maersk, who generously sponsored this shipment.

 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 of partnership opportunities.

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Cameroon Snapshot

Population: 22.25 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. Less than half of children go on to secondary education, and over 40% are involved in some kind of child labour. In rural areas, less than half the population has access to clean water and sanitation.

Cameroon_S2893_5

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Cui Li grew up in a world of silence. Born deaf, Cui Li lived with her family in an impoverished region of China where nobody was able to teach her sign language and her parents had no money to send her to school.

China_sewing_lady-DEAFIt was a lonely, friendless existence until, at age 13, Cui Li discovered a group of people who were deaf like her. One new friend taught Cui Li sign language and how to read and write. It was an opportunity that suddenly opened the world to the teenager. She could now communicate, her relationships with her family improved and she began to meet more and more deaf people, including one young man who then became her husband!

“The deaf population of China numbers around 72 million,” says Hearts and Hands.  “Since the majority of deaf young people are unable to find adequate employment, many turn to gangs, theft, and drugs.”

We’re privileged to work with groups like Hearts and Hands across the world giving new hope to people with so many different needs. When you purchase a Hearts and Hands product through Crossroads’ Global Handicrafts store, you’re supporting people like Cui Li and her husband to build a life for themselves with dignity and honour.

(Cui Li’s story and images courtesy of Hearts and Hands China.)

Want to shop for more fair trade handicrafts?

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

China Snapshot

Population: 1.35 billion

Capital: Beijing

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 11%, or 157 million people

China is experiencing rapid economic growth, but the benefits have not reached millions of people in rural areas. People who are already poor are the most vulnerable to death, injury and loss of livelihood when floods and earthquakes hit.

Natural disasters in China affect more than 200 million people every year.

China_S1359U_6

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