Setting up for an exciting few days in Katete

It felt like a weekend this morning as I packed my cycling stuff, put the bike rack and bike on the back of the Land Rover and set off on a six-hour drive across Zambia. But I was in fact going to work.

Three hours into the drive I got a call from a number my phone didn’t recognise. It was Ali, as in Ali and Lizzie who are cycling from Cairo to Cape Town and raising money for ColaLife in the process. “Hi Simon, it’s Ali. We’ve arrived in Chipata and this is my Zambia number.”

Chipata is in Zambia on the border with Malawi. They will set out from there at 6:15am tomorrow (4/4/13) and so should arrive in Katete at about 9:00am. My plan is to ride out to meet them and accompany them back into Katete. From Ali & Lizzie’s excellent blog I have worked out that ‘Coke Stops’ are a bit of a feature of this mammoth ride so we are organising the Mother of all Coke Stops for them at the Coca-Cola wholesaler in Katete. They will be able to drink all the Coke they want!

Regular readers will know that the Kit Yamoyos are sold through the Coca-Cola wholesaler in both of the districts we are working in. So our fund raisers will be able to see the wholesaler part of the business. We are hoping that one or two of our promoters will pitch up to greet Ali & Lizzie and tell them about their work. The cyclists may be lucky and bump into one of our registered retailers too.

On my arrival in Katete this afternoon I was greeted by the lovely Keepers Zambia Foundation staff – Justina and Elias – and we caught up on the news. They then invited me to observe their fourth live radio broadcast from the local radio station across the road. Not very much to look at from the outside but very hi-tech inside.

Preparing for the Kit Yamoyo Broadcast Queuing the Kit Yamoyo Song
Preparing for the broadcast | Queuing the Kit Yamoyo Song for broadcast

These broadcasts are a key part of the phase 2 marketing strategy now that there are no more vouchers being given out and care-givers will have to pay cash or use the 50% Special Offer contained in each kit.

The broadcast was in the local language so I didn’t get all of the detail – just the overview. The main points made were:

  1. Make sure you take the Zinc tablets for 10 days*
  2. Start taking the Zinc and the ORS at the same time. When the diarrhoea stops, stop the ORS but carry on with the Zinc*
  3. No more vouchers will be distributed but you can:
    1. Get 50% off using the Special Offer
    2. Simply buy for cash
  4. If you have a voucher you haven’t used yet, it is still valid until 31 August
  5. And finally . . . the cyclists got a mention!

If you’d like to sponsor Ali & Lizzie you can do that here.

The broadcast was topped and tailed with the Kit Yamoyo Song done for us by the local reggae/dancehall sensation T-Boy

Listen on SoundCloud


* The midline survey which is just being completed now threw up two issues which need to be worked on in the coming months:

  1. Many mothers and care-givers are not giving the full course of Zinc tablets. They stop giving the Zinc when the diarrhoea stops. This is a challenge rather than a concern – children just won’t get the full benefit of the Zinc if they don’t take it for 10 days
  2. Some mothers are giving the ORS first and then, when the diarrhoea stops, starting on the Zinc. This is incorrect but not harmful. The Zinc and the ORS should be started at the same time.