Is there something that you do every day to remind yourself that you can make a difference in the world?
Some people write an inspirational quote on a sticky note. Some read their Bible, Koran or Torah. Some look into their child’s eyes.
Me? I rock the newest ONE band to remind me why I am in the fight against extreme global poverty. Whether typing on my keyboard or dialing my member of Congress, seeing this bracelet triggers an important memory that drives me to action.
The bracelets take me back to Mozambique, where I met an incredible family whose introduction to the orange-fleshed sweet potato changed their lives. In addition to a healthier family, they had great success selling the product at a local market and were able to send their beautiful, playful children to school.
These bands are beautiful in more ways than one. They are fashion-forward, perfect for both men and women, and help provide great employment opportunities for people in need. Plus, they send the message that you are committed to ending extreme poverty and preventable disease.
Relate, the incredible nonprofit producing these bands, has products all over the globe and are carried in some of the hottest retail stores (including my personal favorite, Free People). Wanna know more about Relate? Here’s their story…
So colorful. Photo courtesy of Relate
Workers assembling the bracelets. Photo courtesy of Relate
Posing for the camera. Photo courtesy of Relate
This South African non-profit uses a simple string of beads – made and sold through a sustainable business model – to change lives. Since 2010, Relate has provided earning opportunities for approximately 250 people, many of whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. The bracelet production process includes the help of three key roles: threaders, closers and packers. And each role is filled by a person with a story all their own:
According to Relate:
Our threaders are all elderly township-dwellers with whom we collaborate through Ikamva Labantu. Many are octogenarians. Some are blind. On their pensions, supplemented by what they earn from Relate, most support entire families, including AIDS-orphaned grandchildren.
Our “closers” (those responsible for branding, sizing and securing our bracelets) are young, unemployed township adults. Through their work, they earn an income, part of which goes into mandatory personal savings accounts only to be used in developing their skills.
Our packers are refugees from other war-torn African countries. Like our closers, they earn an income, and are upskilled in order that they might eventually live independantly of Relate.
So what are you waiting for? Get yours now!
Let it remind you daily of all the people whose lives we fight to save and improve.