Help us help mothers help themselves

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Imagine losing your child to something as simple as diarrhoea. Just a nuisance in the developed world, in many countries, it is the second biggest child-killer. The treatment is simple, cheap, and can be given at home: Oral Rehydration Salts – ORS – has been known for over 30 years, and combined with a simple nutrient, Zinc, can help avoid 75% of unnecessary deaths. Yet less than 1% of children in Africa get this treatment.

The tiny UK charity, ColaLife, wanted to change this by doing things differently: it is clear that current methods aren’t working. Through innovative design and by mimicking what Coca-Cola do, to get their drink to every corner of the world, we increased treatment rates from less than 1% to 45% in just 12 months – by asking mothers what they wanted to solve this problem, and helping them to help themselves.

Now we are working with existing organisations and businesses in Zambia to get life-saving diarrhoea treatment kits (called Kit Yamoyo) to even the remotest communities. At ColaLife, we don’t believe in unsustainable ‘hand-outs’; we believe in helping people to help themselves. Our award-winning designs are now freely available for manufacture, in Zambia and elsewhere, and are already being bought and sold by small shop-keepers, even in remote villages. Our aim is to leave Zambia within 3 years, leaving the kit to save thousands of children’s lives year-on-year and forever.

To achieve this we need your help to get the Kit Yamoyo anti-diarrhoea kit established in the market; we need to educate mothers and retailers; we need to educate community health workers and we need to build up sales for local companies, to ensure that Kit Yamoyo continues to be produced locally in Zambia.

As we support this scale-up, part of our strategy is to enable very poor women to get their first kit at a discount. This works because the Kit Yamoyo works. Once they have used the kit, it is established in the market – forever.

We need your help to contribute to our voucher fund and you can do that here.

Thank you.

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