April 24, 2013

South Africans invited to fight malaria in Africa while uplifting local communities

“More than half a million children will be protected from malaria due to the sale of some 600 000 ‘United Against Malaria (UAM)’ beaded Relate bracelets,” says Lauren Gillis, founder of Cape-based social enterprise, Relate bracelets.

One US dollar from each UAM Relate bracelet sold is donated to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria to invest in mosquito nets and treatment.

Relate bracelets are distinguished from similar bracelets on the market by the inclusion of a pewter “R” bead, The “R” bead is the consumer’s guarantee that that particular bracelet has been made by Relate, a 100% not-for-profit organisation, and ensures that maximum proceeds go towards the cause, work creation opportunities and skills and enterprise development.

“World Malaria Day, which falls on 25 April, gives cause to reflect on the remarkable progress made thus far in combatting this disease which kills an innocent African child every minute,” says Anna McCartney-Melstad of United Against Malaria. “However, with infectious diseases, it’s vital that success does not cause us to level off our efforts, but rather to strengthen them in order to defeat Africa’s number one killer once and for all.”

“The sale of beaded bracelets in aid of the fight against malaria has enabled ordinary people to contribute.” says McCartney-Melstad. “Bracelet sales to date have protected men, women and children throughout Africa through the funding of nets and medication to Africa’s most vulnerable communities.” 

“The purpose of Relate Bracelets is to make a tangible difference in people’s lives,” says Relate founder Lauren Gillis, “We are delighted at the impact the sale of the UAM bracelets has made to those who are at such great risk of contracting malaria. And the impact doesn’t end there. Relate is a not-for-profit social enterprise, in which approximately one third of proceeds covers expenses, one third is donated to the cause – in this case United Against Malaria – and one third goes towards creating earning and upskilling opportunities for local bracelet-makers and supports enterprise development initiatives to uplift communities. This means that countless lives are changed with every single bracelet sold.”

Malaria is still a very real disease throughout Africa and the world, even though it is preventable and treatable.

“Many people in developed nations view malaria as a disease that is no longer an issue,” explains McCartney-Melstad. “And yet every year, malaria kills 650 000 mostly pregnant women and children under five which is completely unacceptable for a disease that is both preventable and treatable.”

“The wonderful thing about Relate’s UAM bracelets is that it gives everyone who cares a tangible opportunity to make a real difference this World Malaria Day. Please join us – save a child’s life, get your UAM Bracelet from retailers who care, including selected GAME and Tiger’s Eye curio stores like Indaba and Out of Africa as well as online through the causes section on www.digitalmall.com.”

About Relate bracelets

Relate is a not-for-profit social enterprise that creates opportunities to change lives through the making and selling of handmade bracelets. Relate’s uniquely sustainable business model sees a third of proceeds donated to a specific cause, a third provides earnings and skills training for local bracelet-makers in South Africa and supporting local enterprise development initiatives and a third covers material and running costs. The signature ‘R’ bead on all Relate bracelets is a mark of authenticity and represents the Relate commitment to transparency and accountability in all its practices. R stands for respect for human dignity, recognising the plight of others and our responsibility to make a difference.

For more information, please visit www.relate.org.za and follow us on:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RelateBracelets

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RelateBracelets

About United Against Malaria

United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organisations, governments, corporations and individuals who united ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to win the fight against malaria. Its goal is to galvanise partners throughout the world to achieve universal access to mosquito nets and malaria medicine in Africa, a crucial first step to reaching the international target of reducing malaria deaths to near zero by 2015. www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org

About World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day was established in 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation. It is commemorated globally and annually on 25 April to support the prevention, control and treatment of malaria.

For more information, contact:

Carolyn Cramer
Coz it counts
082 929 0349
caz@cozitcounts.co.za