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FABBAs helps transform Ugandan slum school
16 year old Harriet lives in Uganda’s Kamwokya slum and has been the head of her household since she was only 10. She takes care of three younger brothers and sisters in a shanty hut amidst the 14,000 other people crammed into this part of Kamwokya, trying to survive each day. In a community rampant with child abuse, exploitation, disease and unemployment, Harriet was lucky to make it to her teens.

There’s one reason that Harriet can face the future, though: she attends the slum’s only school, catering for 2,000 pupils with an extraordinary programme to lift slum children out of the destitution they face and educate them not just in academic subjects but in life skills, job training and children’s rights.

The school itself operates on a shoestring budget though, struggling to provide the basics for their students, so when they asked Crossroads for books, clothes, educational furniture and things like mattresses and blankets for the children of the slum, we were delighted to help by shipping 2 x 40’ containers of aid.

Today, the school library in Kamwokya is filled with text books donated from those containers; the boys’ soccer team wears uniforms selected from the boxes of clothing given by Crossroads; the students sit at beautiful new desks and chairs from our shipment, and some of the poorest students, who previously slept on the floor, now have soft new mattresses and warm blankets and a new zeal to attend school each day.

And it’s the FABBAs who made this possible. Funds raised by the FABBAs were used to ship one of the containers to this slum school, adding to the many shipments that the FABBAs and Crossroads have partnered on since we started working together.

When students from the Kamwokya school sat their final examinations at the end of last year, even local officials were impressed by the quality of the furniture they now had access to. “All the officials who were monitoring their exams were admiring and wondering... You have really made us VERY PROUD and I’ll never stop thanking you!” the school’s headmistress wrote.

Likewise, we’ll never stop thanking the FABBAs for their ongoing investment in the lives of people like Kamwokya’s slum children, all over the world.

What is Crossroads Foundation?
Crossroads Foundation, established in 1995, is a place that brings together people in need with people who have resources to help. Each day we receive 3-4 truckloads of donated furniture, medical equipment, clothing, blankets, toys, computers and more from donors and companies around Hong Kong. We then process and redistribute them to groups working with people in need in Hong Kong and across the globe. In 2012 alone, we helped approximately 532,772 people through our online and warehouse aid distribution services.

In the past decade we’ve added new arms to our work, with Global Handicrafts, our Fair Trade shop and café, Global Hand, our online partnership broker for the aid world, and Crossroads’ heart-challenging simulation activities, Global X-perience.

Crossroads and FABBAs
There’s no way Crossroads could do its job without the support of sponsors like the FABBAs. It was the FABBAs, many years ago, who funded a shipment of toilets, sinks and bathroom fittings to allow hygienic facilities in poor schools in Macedonia. It was the FABBAs who sponsored a shipment contained goods for education and training to offer a better life for the children of sex workers and parents suffering from leprosy in India, the FABBAs who allowed us to ship a container of medical goods to post-earthquake Haiti in 2012. The stories continue to be written as the FABBAs raises more funds for shipments in 2014 and beyond!

Each year, as the FABBAs attendees lay aside their smartphones and laptops to focus on raising dollars for people in need, those efforts are, quite literally, saving lives in nations around the world. It’s a relationship of more than a decade that Crossroads Foundation treasures deeply.

For more about Crossroads Foundation:

Some of the FABBAs’ past transformational Crossroads sponsorships:

Trinidad and Tobago – Support for street children and medical needs in rural areas.
Zambia – Care and education for children living with HIV.
Macedonia – Toilets, sinks and bathroom fittings to allow hygienic facilities in poor schools
India – Education and training to offer a better life for the children of sex workers and parents suffering from leprosy.
Israel - Equipping new immigrants who are in poverty with furniture and household essentials.
Kazakhstan – Supporting small organisations working with drug-addicted teenagers and other vulnerable groups.
India – Computers, fabric, sewing machines, and other goods to train and equip women in poverty.
Cameroon – Goods for a training centre to help HIV/Aids orphaned youth
Sierra Leone – Computers and other equipment to train people in job skills, in the country’s post-war disaster zones.
The Gambia – Goods to equip community development projects in Africa’s smallest mainland nation.
Zambia – School clothes and supplies for children living in Chibolya slum.
Haiti – Medical and other goods for a hospital desperately under-resourced following the 2010 earthquake.
Ghana – Goods to equip community development projects in rural areas.
Cameroon – Goods to support agricultural programmes in poor rural communities

For every HK$100,000 donated, Crossroads can give away goods worth HK$900,000.