We chat to legendary explorer and humanitarian, the "Grey Beard of African Adventure", Kingsley Holgate about World Malaria Day.
We chat to explorer Kingsley Holgate, who embarked on a journey to the unknown to experience and discover new territory, while raising awareness and helping people improve their lives.
Why use adventure to raise awareness about malaria?
We decided to use adventure as a way and means to get the message across. The message, awareness and campaigns regarding malaria have been pretty much the same. Most people get bored and lose interest with the initiative. Using this route, we are hoping to get people talking, interacting and taking part regarding raising awareness.
Your focus is on pregnant women and kids, why is that? Why not focus on everyone?
Pregnant women and kids are the most vulnerable and the worst affected by Malaria. About 90% of malaria deaths occur in pregnant women and kids. If we focus on that category, we would have won half the battle.
What can people do to assist?
First they can commemorate World Malaria Day by purchasing United Against Malaria bracelets, which are available at all Cape Union Mart stores for only R30. The proceeds of the sale of the bracelets will be used to purchase more life-saving mosquito nets. The good thing about these bracelets is that they are designed and made by Relate, a South African non-profit organisation.
How many bracelets are you expecting to sell?
Our target is 50 000 bracelets by the first week of May.
How else can the public help?
Apart from buying the bracelet, they can like our Facebook fan pages:
The public can keep track of our progress regarding the yearlong Great African Rift Valley Expedition, where we will be travelling in Africa and visiting countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Rwanda, Burundi, the DRC and Malawi.
One of our key areas as we travel will be to interact with the locals and help with information and spreading awareness.
How has the support and progress been like regarding this initiative?
The bracelets from Relate have raised close to $500 000 (R3,8 million) and around 30 000 nets have been bought and distributed to needy families.