Crossroads Foundation is a non-profit organization that is located in Tuen Mun. It serves to connect the people in need with those with the ability to help. There are several divisions within the organization that includes Medical, Electrical, IT, Warehouse, Clothing, Furniture etc.  Each of these departments are in charge of the distribution of the respective donated items whenever a shipment is scheduled. After Typhoon Mangkhut, Crossroads reached out to families by donating household appliances and furniture to people affected by the Typhoon.  Apart from the domestic and international distribution of donated items, Crossroads Foundation also organize events to educate and influence the community. For instance, the ‘Global Xperience’ is carry out weekly to allow people to experience the life of the refugees through a series of simulations.

The Global Handicraft shop and Silk Road café within the facility serves to promote the idea of fair trade to visitors. Handicrafts that are sold in the shop are labeled with the names and the experience of the people who made the item.

For my time in Crossroads, I volunteered in several divisions that include Electrical, Kitchen, Medical, Clothing, and Global Xperience. While in electrical, I would assist in cleaning and packing of the electric appliances before it is shipped out. Sometimes, I would also assist to key in the item code into the database to keep track of the item flow. The volunteering experiences at the Clothing and Medical department is similar to what was done in Electrical. The kitchen on the other hand collects the food donated from other organisations and prepare meals for all the volunteers.

I was fortunate to be able to participate in the ‘Struggle for Survival’ simulation while volunteering in Global Xperience. Personally, the simulation feels very impactful. Just as the name suggest, volunteers are able to experience the life of the poor who struggled to make paper bags for a living under the pressure of time and atrocious living conditions. From the simulation, I learnt that poverty is a highly complicated issue that cannot be simply related to money nor laziness.

The 3 months that I spent volunteering in crossroads is deeply enriching and opened my eyes to the problems faced around the world. I get to meet people from different parts of the world and such has deepen my understanding of their cultures through my interactions with them. Given the chance I hope to return to Crossroads when I visit Hong Kong again.

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