WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

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Liberia as a nation is still suffering deep social and economic wounds from a civil war that ended in the early 2000s. Violence and assaults are sadly common, with youth turning to crime because they feel hopeless.

Crossroads has sent two shipments in the past to an NGO in Liberia who reach out to children and youth at risk. When they first established, they ran programmes to solve youth crime problems, but they soon realised they had to get to the root of why youth were turning to crime. They decided that education and mentorship were the answers, helping open more doors to youth so that they wouldn’t feel like crime was the only way to survive.

Today, they run a thriving ‘Street Library’, where many of the books, toys, furnishings and technology are from Crossroads’ previous shipments. They also used computers from our last shipment to set up a computer lab to train youth in IT skills. The goods from the shipment were so strategic in furnishing and improving their projects to a high standard that the organisation secured funding from the United Nations to run an additional 6 project across Liberia. “All of this happened because of Crossroads’ support,” they wrote.

Their latest goal has been to establish a vocational training academy for young people in Liberia’s rural centre. They have the land, and have constructed the buildings needed, but they have asked Crossroads for help with goods to bring it to life. Our shipment will include goods for the new training academy, as well as more toys and games to expand their the Street Library, computers, appliances and furniture to equip their various centres, all with the goal of being able to reach more young people with education and training that helps lift them out of poverty.


New vocational training centre

Goods from this shipment will help fill this new vocational training centre with furniture, appliances and other things they need to reach out to rural youth with empowering skills training. The centre will accommodate more than 300 students at a time.


Crossroads’ previous shipment arrived just as our partners were renovating their Street Library. “The learning environment was deplorable,” they said. “Students couldn’t play educational games because of the roughness of the floor and leaking water.” Their staff fixed up the facilities and laid down carpet tiles from Crossroads’ shipment, filled the shelves with new toys and games, and immediately the centre started to draw more children. Their enrolment has already increased by 175 children per week.


WANT TO BE PART OF THESE LIFE CHANGING STORIES?

Sponsor this shipment: We are seeking financial sponsorship to cover the costs of this shipment and others. To donate all or part of the needed funds, see overleaf for account details or email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Give goods: We need more good quality laptops or computers for this shipment. If you can help,  email donate@crossroads.org.hk

Help load the container: Bring a team (or just yourself!) to pack goods into the container to help communities in need. Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk to ask about volunteering.

Reference No. : S4381B

IT skills for youth

“Youth are dying to become computer literate, but they do not have the financial means to get these skills,” wrote our partners.

Young people in Liberia know the opportunities that come through computer education and they know they’re missing out on skills that their peers in more developed communities take for granted.

Computers from Crossroads’ previous shipment have made possible a computer lab where young people can learn these vital skills, leading to better employment options in the future.

This shipment will include more goods for youth vocational training, helping to set up a brand new centre focused on skills training for rural youth.

 

Liberia snapshot

Population: 4.8 million
Capital: Monrovia
Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 64%

Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic, but it became known in the 1990s for its long-running, ruinous civil war. The conflict involved child soldiers, and it killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Significant programmes are now under way to improve issues such as clean water access, food security and education, however progress is difficult and unemployment and illiteracy remain high across the country.
Source: UNICEF and BBC

 

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WHO IS THIS SHIPMENT HELPING?

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Farmers in northern Tanzania are living in constant threat of food insecurity. Families grow the food they need for themselves, but limited land, climate fluctuations and poor soil mean that most families are only just getting by. Parents hope for a better future for their children, and the schools are well-attended, but many of the schools lack sufficient furniture and supplies to give a full, rounded education for their students.

We are shipping to a group who targets children and youth with educational and training programmes to give them the hand-up that can help them find work after finishing school, or start their own small businesses. These activities range from extra reading classes to computer literacy, to sports, to dressmaking and welding classes. They estimate that their programmes reach about 3,000 children and youth from around the local area.

They have asked Crossroads for a shipment of goods to support these projects, including computers, furniture, school supplies, electrical and AV equipment and sports and recreational equipment.


Children get extra help in school subjects at our partners’ Educational Club.

Our partners’ Educational Club is just one of the many activities run from their main centre.


TRAINING LEADS TO JOBS FOR YOUTH

Youth unemployment is a serious problem in our partners’ region. Without specialised skills, many young people don’t know how to break out of the cycle of subsistence farming, and sadly often turn to drug dealing or petty crime to get ahead.

In 2017, our partners chose a number of youth from their projects to go through classes in welding, tailoring and advanced agriculture. After the course, all the welding trainees found jobs in garages, and the tailoring classes have created small market businesses for 40 women, who can now make and sell their own clothes.

The goods we are shipping will be used to equip and administer projects like these that help young people move beyond a subsistence lifestyle, so they can take pride in contributing to their community and supporting families of their own.


“Our region has very few industries to employ youth,” wrote our partners. Their classes in skills like computer literacy and tailoring are making a real impact on local youth unemployment.

 


WANT TO BE A PART OF THESE LIFE CHANGING STORIES?

Sponsor a container: We need HK$ 50,000 to send any of our waiting shipments on their way. Email us for a list of projects needing funds: partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Give goods: We can help your company or group find projects that need your quality superseded goods. Email partnerships@crossroads.org.hk

Volunteer: We need regular volunteers in a huge variety of roles across the work, from manual labor to administration and specific skilled roles. Email volunteer@crossroads.org.hk

Reference No : S5137

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Tanzania Snapshot

Capital: Dodoma
Largest City: Dar es Salaam
Main languages: Swahili (official) and English, and more than 100 local languages.
Population: 55.5 million.

Tanzania, located on the eastern coast of Africa, enjoys relative peace, safety and stability. It is a heavily agricultural nation, with 80% of the population being subsistence farmers. Around 68 percent of Tanzania’s 44.9 million citizens live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day, and 32 percent of the population are malnourished.[The literacy rate for people 15 and over is 67.8%

Source: UNDP

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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.

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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

Education and Vocational Training

Even though Fiji is a beautiful country, poverty is widespread, particularly in rural regions.

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-9Fiji might be a tropical paradise, but for many of the nation’s impoverished children, life is no holiday. The community where Crossroads’ partner NGO runs a school is facing deep poverty and high unemployment. This often leads to alcohol abuse, gambling and domestic violence, so that besides teaching their students, school staff often deal with problems the children bring into the classroom from home. The school addresses these problems by engaging not only the children but also their parents. Currently they are extending the school with five new classrooms, to ‘set an example for all Fiji schools’.

Potential impact:

  • Crossroads shipment will provide equipment to fill five new classrooms. Most of what they have requested is not available in Fiji or not affordable for the school
  • The new rooms will be used to train students in new topics, like Economics, digital design, wood and metalwork and much more

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-4Laisani (left), a Form 3 student, was badly burnt when the kerosene stove exploded at her home. Her family was reluctant to seek medical help for her as the traditional medicine man threatened to put a curse on the family. Laisani badly needed medical treatment, so staff from the school visited Laisani and her parents. The care and concern of teachers and students gave Laisani the courage to continue with her studies despite the disfigurement from her injuries. She is now healing well.

 

 

 


S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-3Virisila (left) is a sensitive and compassionate student, gifted in music and dance, but violence at home made it hard for her to concentrate at school. Her father was constantly angry and wouldn’t give permission for her to take part in extra-school activities. She asked a teacher and volunteer to visit her family and talk to her father. When they came, Virisila’s father had the opportunity, for the first time ever, to tell his story in front of his family. He had experienced a lifetime of rejection, emotional deprivation and pain. The father asked how he could find peace and relief from the anger he felt. A time of family forgiveness and healing followed. Now, Virisila feels greater self-confidence, an increased ability to concentrate and a desire to succeed. The entire family is happier and healthier, thanks to reconciliation efforts of her school.

Shipment includes:

  • Computer equipment
  • Calculators, powder paint, cooking pots, acoustic guitars, school chairs and more

This shipment will include furniture and equipment to help give a rich, holistic education to vulnerable Fijian children.

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Fiji Snapshot

Population: around 850,000
Capital: Suva
Population living below the national poverty line of US$3.3 per day: 45%

Compared to its neighbours, Fiji is relatively well developed, though it is the 61st poorest country in the world, comparable with the Philippines.

Fiji consists of 332 islands, of which 110 are inhabited.

Fiji’s main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name “Fiji” is derived.

S3906 Fiji Project Profile_EDITED-11

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.

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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

Life had not done the ‘Honorable’ thing by the young African boy of that very unusual name. Young Honourable was born into a very poor Nigerian family and despite a bright, active mind, he couldn’t afford to go on to college or university.

Crossroads’ West African representative, Bona, saw potential in Honorable. “He’s one of those kids kid that breaks your heart when they can’t get more education,” he said.

Bona, though, was in a position to do something about it. Some years before, he had set up a training centre with computers from Crossroads. Bona enrolled Honourable in the centre and, when Honorable graduated, helped him establish his own ‘Business Centre’, with another Crossroads computer.

The business centre started small, as a place where customers could get basic photocopying and word processing services, but thanks to Honorable’s computer training and a good head for business, it soon began to turn a profit. With it, he invested in 5 more computers and, in turn, set up a computer training centre of his own.

Today, his new centre has trained more than 1,000 young underprivileged youth, many from his own home village. From one donated computer, a tree of opportunity grows, bears fruit and continues to flourish! An ‘Honourable’ outcome indeed!

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