Uniting to Defeat Africa’s Biggest Killer – Malaria

26 Apr 2012

Global campaign against malaria also creates opportunities for South African township communities

kingsIn the run-up to World Malaria Day on April 25, 2012, the South African division of the global partnership, United Against Malaria (UAM), intensified fundraising efforts to purchase life-saving mosquito nets and reduce malaria deaths to zero.

Malaria threatens half the world’s population and claims 655,000 lives each year. 90% of those are in Africa, where a child dies from malaria every minute. Yet, malaria can be effectively prevented and treated, and in the last decade alone, global malaria deaths have been reduced by 38%.

Ending malaria deaths requires both public and corporate support. In this spirit, prominent South African retailer Cape Union Mart joined UAM and Relate, a South African not-for-profit that creates and sells beaded cause bracelets, to sell 50,000 UAM bracelets by World Malaria Day on 25 April. The UAM bracelets will be displayed in all Cape Union Mart and Old Khaki stores, with store personnel undergoing training to help promote both their sale and their cause.

The income generated from bracelet sales will be used to buy more life-saving mosquito nets and to create further opportunities for the Relate beaders.

To date, Relate’s United Against Malaria supporter bracelets have:

  • Sold more than 500,000 bracelets, raising close to $500,000
  • Purchased approximately 30,000 nets, which means 60,000 to 90,000 children now sleep safely at night
  • Created sustainable earning mechanism for approximately 250 people, who are often supporting up to five others
  • Connected over 500,000 people worldwide to each other around a common cause.

Cape Union Mart is also sponsoring Kingsley Holgate, probably Africa’s best known modern-day explorer and humanitarian, to return to South Africa for World Malaria Day. Kingsley will take time out from his current year-long Great African Rift Valley Expedition to share his passion for malaria prevention and education. Starting with TV interviews on South African stations and continuing with in-store promotions, the public will have an opportunity to meet Kingsley hear his tales of African adventures and humanitarian interventions. South African singer and superstar Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who is also a UAM champion, will join the WMD events.

UAM joined forces with Relate in 2010 to help raise awareness and curb the spread of malaria. While beating malaria, the bracelets are also beating poverty. Social entrepreneur and Relate co-founder, Lauren Gillis, says Relate bracelets “do more than act as a fundraising tool… they also create a connection with the frail hands of a vulnerable senior, or the eager hands of an unemployed young person who proudly created the bracelet. In the process they were also upskilled and received earnings.”

They developed a signature UAM supporters’ bracelet, which has become a globally recognised symbol of winning the fight against malaria.

Share your support for World Malaria Day by following United Against Malaria, Relate and Cape Union Mart on Facebook, and sharing news via Twitter by following @UAMalaria, @RelateBracelets and @CapeUnionMart .

About United Against Malaria

United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organisations, governments, corporations and individuals that aim to win the fight against malaria. Founding partners include Comic Relief, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Malaria No More, ONE, PATH, PSI (Population Services International), the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria. www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org

About Relate

Founded in 2008, Relate is a not-for-profit social enterprise that does not rely on funding. Instead, income is generated through the creation and sale of simple decorative beaded bracelets, and used to fund a variety of beneficiaries and enterprise development initiatives. In the process, the lives of the beaders are changed as they develop skills, find employment and gain dignity.

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