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

 

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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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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

Benin, bordered by Togo and Nigeria in West Africa, is rich in natural beauty but is one of the world’s poorest nations. Many of the nation’s 11.5 million people still lack access to basic social services and are dependent upon subsistence farming, which is threatened by climate change, further endangering already fragile livelihoods.

Our partners work at the grassroots to empower women and youth with skills and support that will lift them out of poverty. We shipped to this group several years ago, with goods like sewing machines, furniture and computers, which allowed them to make such improvements as:

• Setting up a computer centre using goods from the shipment where youth can access the internet and learn employable skills

• Equipping a sewing training centre where girls and women can learn sewing to empower them with the skills to support themselves and their families

• Doubling the capacity at a care home for children, by expanding the facilities using furniture and other goods from the shipment

“Thanks to the support of Crossroads Foundation, our NGO has experienced a real change in terms of its services and the quality of its work for the people it supports in Benin,” they wrote. “But more areas and populations are waiting to be reached and affected as well.” The second shipment will allow them to expand their services into more remote communities in desperate need of help.

 


GRACE’S STORY

Grace, in 3rd form, is a grateful recipient of a bicycle from Crossroad’s previous shipment. It was hard for her to get to school on time, traveling on foot, and she was often late for class even if she left home early. Having a bike has dramatically reduced her commute and made it that much easier for her to stay in school and improve her future. This shipment will include goods for students like Grace whose education is suffering for lack of basic resources.

 

Goods from this shipment will help our partners reach more people like Grace.


Sewing machines changing lives

As an unemployed widow in a rural area, Martine (above) was finding it very hard to climb out of poverty. Now that she’s learnt sewing skills using the equipment from Crossroads’ 2016 shipment, she’s been able to take on small jobs and can now afford to buy clothes for herself and her children, and feed them properly, as well as pay for their health and education

This shipment includes goods to help administer the training programmes (below) that changed Martine’s life, so that more women can move from just surviving, to a life of stability for them and their families.


Computers and furniture from the shipment have set up a community computer centre, where youth can now access the internet, use computers for their schoolwork and learn skills for better employment opportunities

 

Benin’s beautiful and fertile landscape holds great potential for its people, but low literacy and education, and poor infrastructure, make it difficult to break out of poverty. .  

REFERENCE NO. S4125A

 

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Malawi snapshot

Population: 18 million
Capital: Lilongwe
Major Languages: English, Chichewa

Landlocked Malawi is sometimes called the ‘warm heart of Africa’, for its culture of hospitality, however, the nation ranks among the world’s least developed countries. The country’s economic performance has historically been constrained complex factors including poor infrastructure, high population growth, and poor health and education outcomes that limit labor productivity.

The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas.

Source:BBC Country Profile/CIA World Factbook

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