At 95, Mrs Kan has seen many chapters of Hong Kong’s history. She lives alone in Tai O, a traditional fishing village, by a river, lined with rickety wooden homes on stilts. When the fierce winds of Typhoon Hato swept through, in August 2017, Tai O was a vulnerable target. Its population is largely older people, these days, as many of the younger generation have moved closer to the city.  So Mrs Kan and her elderly neighbours rely on each other in times of need, not always easy given their advanced age and limited mobility. When this massive storm hit, the community watched in fear as flood waters rose higher and higher, damaging their homes, their appliances and their furniture.

Initially, it seemed impossible to replace what the storm had damaged. Mrs Kan lost a washing machine and a fridge.

Her neighbour, Mr Kwan, is 87 years old. He, like her, lives alone and since suffering a stroke, has had trouble moving around.

“The water went above my knees,” he recalls. “I was not able to move, and some of my neighbours called the fire department to help me.”

Thankfully, he was rescued, but he lost his fridge, washing machine and most of his furniture.

Crossroads ran a campaign to source electrical goods and other needed support. The response was immediate and overwhelming! Several businesses and individuals leaped to help, offering to fund or supply what we needed. When our team went out to Tai O to deliver and install the goods, residents recognised our red Crossroads t-shirts calling out, “Thank you, thank you!” as our volunteers pushed heavy appliances along the small lanes.

Mrs Kan herself was pleased to see her washing machine and fridge replaced, as seen in the first picture below. Mr Kwan, and other neighbours also received electrical goods and our staff helped install and connect them (2nd picture below).

As well as Tai O, we were also pleased to support Kar Wo Lei Tsuen, a village right next door to Crossroads’ site, where people suffered storm damage to homes and possessions.


In numbers

650 items in total were delivered to 400 households Tai O:

  • 184 fridges
  • 99 washing machines
  • 31 stoven
  • 60 kettles
  • 60 rice cookers
  • 60 fans
  • 50 heaters
  • 53 beds & mattresses
  • 53 other household articles

TTHANK YOU!

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Hong Kong is one of the best prepared cities in the world to face the typhoons it regularly meets. For Hong Kong’s poor, though, it can be something to watch with trepidation, knowing that, for example, village housing can be vulnerable to flooding, collapse and irreparable damage.

When severe Typhoon Usagi hit Hong Kong, Mrs Wang and her family watched as it flooded their small villagestyle home in Hong Kong’s New Territories. Almost every piece of furniture was damaged. Caring for four children and dependent on welfare, Mrs Wang didn’t know how to make the family home liveable again. The Social Welfare Department referred her to Crossroads.

Mrs Wang seemed overwhelmed with the choices of goods available to her, donated from all over Hong Kong. She left with a dining table, six chairs, a double bed, wardrobe, two bookcases for her children and home appliances.

She was one of many who came through Crossroads’ gates, following the typhoon. We appreciate all who donate to assist with disaster recovery, equipping us to assist those across the world or across the street.

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Philippines reconstruction2Two families in Barangay Bacabac, Philippines were huddled together in a village building as the worst typhoon in the country’s history raged over their heads. They had fled there to find shelter, thinking it would be a safe place to wait until the worst of the storm was over. Suddenly, though, the roof peeled off the entire roof of the room they were hiding in, forcing them to race to find another safe haven. Thankfully, they survived, but the typhoon, known as Haiyan or Yolanda, in the Philippines, was the nation’s deadliest ever, eventually killing more than 6,400 people.

“Typhoon Yolanda’s fury was so strong,” wrote Crossroads’ partners in the Philippines, “that even the commonly known structures in which people sought shelter – schools, town halls, and churches, did not stand a chance against the typhoon.”

Philippines reconstruction3When it struck in November, 2013, Crossroads immediately responded by shipping 4 containers within weeks, to help with immediate needs. After flood waters receded, and damage was assessed, we shipped another two containers, in March and May, which held goods specifically to help people rebuild homes and community buildings that had been devastated.

Now, 10 months down the track, many of the people affected by Haiyan are still rebuilding, and Crossroads is part of that story. Many of the buildings central to rural communities are still operating under makeshift conditions but goods from Crossroads’ containers are now making a real and practical difference.

Tiles and other construction materials helped this community repair their meeting hall.

Tiles and other construction materials helped this community repair their meeting hall.

Roofing materials, angle bars and tarpaulins are being put to work as people from the community come together to repair what they have lost. Another Crossroads partner who received funding collected from our donors reflected on their work in Dulag, “the local people were working seemingly round-the-clock to build back their community. Families were building back their homes while lending a helping hand to their neighbours. It was amazing to witness the determination and hope driving this community towards restoration.”

It’s only thanks to the generosity of the Hong Kong community that Crossroads has been able to, and continues to, offer so much support. Donated funds that flooded in, allowed the purchase of construction supplies and other goods to help in the reconstruction, and we’re grateful to thousands of people who gave disaster kit items and helped pack and load the goods. We are continuing to work closely with our partners on the ground to offer further help in the reconstruction efforts needed.

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Philippines Snapshot

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Capital: Manila

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

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When Typhoon Sendong hit the Philippines in December 2011, Merlinda and her husband knew they were looking death in the face. If they stayed in their village, Dumaguete, they and their two daughters would have little chance.

“The water was this high,” recalls Merlinda, holding her hand above her neckline. “We had to carry the kids till we got on a boat.”

They were more fortunate than many. The catastrophic flooding caused by Typhoon Sendong killed at least 1,268 people in the Philippines.

After the water receded, Merlinda and her family were doubly fortunate in finding their hut still standing. They did, however, lose all their clothes, bedding and household utensils – items our warehouse holds in abundance.

 Community Business Day of Action 2011

What this family, along with many of their devastated compatriots, most needed were emergency supplies for basic living. Within weeks, our volunteers sent a 40’ shipping container on its way to the Philippines, loaded with 1,430 blankets, more than 800 hygiene kits, and hundreds of toothbrushes, carry bags, water bottles, kitchen utensil kits and drinking cups.

Rebuilding the village could take months. Rebuilding lives will take even longer. We were delighted, though, to take the beginning of this journey with them and we now regularly ship to the Philippines to partner with its courageous people.

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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%

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At least 5,500 people in the Philippines are now confirmed dead in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, with many more thousands of survivors left grieving and homeless.

PHP_typhoon_demaged_house

Crossroads’ first container has already arrived in the Philippines, carried free of charge by CNC Line, with three more containers loaded by 6th December, filled with goods to help reconstruction efforts in affected areas.

What’s needed now?

Now that the initial weeks following the disaster have passed, our partners have asked us for goods that will help people rebuild, such as hammers, nails and other hardware. Read on below for more information.

PHP_typhoon_container_with_building_hardware

HOW YOU CAN HELP

GIVE MONEY

To donate money towards Crossroads’ Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief efforts, please click here and specify ‘Disaster relief fund’ in the ‘What For?’ section.

Alternatively, you can make a direct deposit to:

Bank: HSBC

Account number: 083-6-028407

Account name: CROSSROADS FOUNDATION LTD

(NB – Please email accounts@crossroads.org.hk to notify us of your donation.)

 

GIVE GOODS

Goods requested

Our partners in the Philippines have advised us that construction materials and supplies such as hammers, nails, power tools, wood etc, would be most helpful for the rebuilding efforts now underway in their target areas. Email disaster.response@crossroads.org.hk with questions about other goods needed.

 

Disaster kits 

Crossroads is no longer calling for disaster kits for the Philippines. However we appreciate disaster kits at any time to replenish our supplies, ready to send as soon as another disaster strikes.

Please contact Crossroads in advance of your delivery on 2984 9309 so that someone is available to accept your donation.

How to deliver donations

Please deliver any donations directly to Crossroads after calling to inform our office on 2984 9309, with address details found here. Thank you for your generosity!

 

OTHER ENQUIRIES

Do you have other ideas about how your organisation or company can partner to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors? We’d love to hear from you.

Please email disaster.response@crossroads.org.hk (preferred) or call +852 2984 9309.

We will continue to release updates with any further developments or needs. Thank you for caring for those in need in the Philippines.

Give Now!

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Donate Goods!

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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%

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‘Super’ typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda devastated parts of the Philippines, leaving at least 5,500 dead and thousands more homeless.

PHP_typhoon

Local residents are putting their lives back together, and Crossroads has sent 4 shipments to help.

“The one beautiful thing amongst all the horrendous devastation is the Filippino community spirit,” said our partner in the Philippines. “There’s a lot of real ingenuity on the ground.” One villager, Noe, lost his own house in the storm but “before he even began to rebuild his home, he has been helping his neighbours repair their fishing boats, knowing that their children desperately need food.”

Before the typhoon struck, we already had a large stock of disaster kits prepositioned and waiting in our warehouse, thanks to ongoing efforts from volunteers and donors throughout the year. This meant we could respond immediately, shipping a container of kits and other emergency goods to our partners within a week of the typhoon.

 

PHP_typhoon_container

Students from West Island School helped load the container (above) and CNC Line generously carried it free of charge to the Philippines.

Containers of aid

Meanwhile, our phones were running hot and our email inbox bulged with offers of more and more disaster kits from schools, companies and families across Hong Kong who were desperate to help!

We began planning our second shipment, and when the deadline closed on 26th November, we counted up the donations: at least 2,630 kitchen and hygiene kits donated! We had enough kits and other goods to fill a further two 40′ containers, loaded on 30th November.

PHP_typhoon_contaimer_gifts

Each disaster kit contains kitchen or hygiene goods for a family group of six. This means that our amazing kit-collectors in Hong Kong have directly helped at least 15,780 people in need in the Philippines.

Volunteers from Standard Chartered helped to load the container, which included disaster kits, hardware for reconstruction, water purification tablets, mosquito nets, footwear and more.

Many from Hong Kong and around the world gave generous financial donations towards the shipments.

What next?

Now that the typhoon has passed, the world’s media may have pulled out of the Philippines, but Crossroads hasn’t.

PHP_typhoon_family

Typhoon Haiyan flattened entire villages. © European Commission DG ECHO

Our partners, who have run projects in the Philippines for decades, are committed to supporting the local people as they rebuild their homes and their lives. “These sorts of problems require long term solutions from organisations that are going to stay on the ground and partner with the people,” they said. We will continue to work with them to see how Crossroads can best help their projects.

They’ve told us that what they now need most is hardware and building supplies, to help people reconstruct their homes. Because of financial donations that flooded into our disaster fund, we have now been able to source these items and send them in our fourth shipment.

We continue to look for ways to respond to the ongoing rebuilding process.

Give Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

DONATE MONEY

Donate Goods!

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Somalia Snapshot 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

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