Every gift can change a life. When Maclaren, maker of high end children’s strollers, gave Crossroads a massive donation, they reached needy families across the world. Some were included in shipments to places like Uganda, but most were given to help children right here in Hong Kong.

One stroller went to Chi Kin, a 3 year old with special needs that prevent him walking. His family’s limited budget has already been stretched with medical bills. So, for them to get him, a big boy, around busy Hong Kong, he needed the Rolls Royce of strollers, albeit on a Mini budget. The sight of the Maclaren gift, brand new and still in its packaging, left them open mouthed with amazement. It was perfect for his needs and, best of news, it cost them nothing.

2014-04-09_1220Another went to ‘Mi Li’, a widow, a mother of five who is completely blind. Living on a shoestring budget, Mei li could not afford the needed furniture for her home, much less a stroller for her baby. Though unable to see, she carried her baby around on her hip throughout the day, while trying to care for her other four children. When she heard a brand new stroller could be given, her hands stroked it in wonder. For her, too, this was a transformative gift.

We are grateful beyond words to partners like Maclaren, who are using their core strengths and resources to equip families in need.

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Education and job creation for people with special needs

The Philippines is home to some of the most beautiful places on earth. However, 26.5% of the population lives below the international poverty line, and life is particularly difficult for those with disabilities who are living in poverty.


Living with special needs in the Philippines makes it difficult to find a job or access proper education. Government statistics indicate that 97% of people across the Philippines living with disabilities are not reached by the public school system. Our consignee in Manila is bringing change to the lives of children, young adults and adults with disabilities like autism. “Due to the high cost of medical, rehabilitation, and educational and vocational training services for youth with special needs, many families cannot afford to avail of quality intervention for them,” they write. Their programmes for developmentally disabled people include job-readiness courses (64 students), life skills and transition education (150 students) and community-based rehab and education (reaching 600).

Shipment includes:

  • School furniture for educational programmes
  • Toys and musical instruments for rehabilitation activities
  • Computers for clerical skills training
  • Household goods and furniture for training in hospitality skills and personal life skills like managing a bedroom or kitchen

A86Aingee (16) has autism. Our partner’s programmes help her learn to cope with normal activities that many of us take for granted. As well as structured learning experiences, Aingee learns to handle daily life routines and activities, from grocery shopping to trips to the dentists and swimming or going to the movies. This gives Aingee the opportunity to learn how to work with others in a safe, caring environment.

This shipment will help more than 150 people like Aingee take life skills training.

A45Louis’ parents were very worried when, at 14 years old, his special school closed its doors and he was left with nowhere that could cater for his special needs. Louis, who has autism and cannot talk, has attended special schools since he was 3 years old. Most of the schools his parents could find would only take young children, rather than teenagers or adults. They worried Louis would never learn the life skills he needed to be independent, or even hope to find a job. Thankfully, they discovered our partner’s school and now at 20 years old, Louis is thriving.

“My son has finally come home,” says his mother.

“He will stay here and develop to the utmost that he can ever be, as a special person.”

Crossroads shipment will help more people with disabilities like Louis reach their potential.

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Philippines Snapshot

Population: 98,39 million
Capital: Manila

Population living below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 26.5%

Government statistics indicate that 1.57% of people in the Philippines are living with a disability.  97% of people living with disabilities are not being reached by the public school system.A51