FCS has so far raised $33,000 for SurfAid through their Strings for Charity initiative, with sales from Australasia, USA, Europe and Japan in the past year.
FCS is selling bright blue, high quality leash strings with 100 per cent of their profits going to SurfAid. “We have been really happy with the response to the SurfAid strings, $33k to charity ain’t bad for a few little leash strings,” said Drew Quinnell, Sales and Marketing Manager at Surf Hardware International. “I have no doubt SurfAid will use the profits to make a huge difference to many people. Let’s hope this is just a small fraction of what we can earn for SurfAid next year, and for many years to come.”
SurfAid International CEO Dr Dave Jenkins said: “We are very grateful to FCS who have raised $33,000 and counting by successfully leveraging their current networks to raise money that will save lives. This kind of replicable and sustainable fundraising is a win-win and we encourage other businesses to become similarly creative. The dollars will go to teaching parents in the Mentawai the very basics of health that they currently don’t know nor practice, namely why they should wash their hands after cleaning their babies’ dirty bottoms, why they should give their children the fruit and vegetables available, and why they should not defecate on their beach.”
The Mentawai health situation is critical, as SurfAid assessed in 2007 through a baseline KAP (Knowledge, Attitude and Practice) survey.
The results include:
• Child mortality (under five years of age) of 93 per 1,000 live births;
• Infant mortality (under one year) of 49 per 1,000 live births;
• Malnourishment in children under five years of 41.1% stunted; 33.5% underweight; and 7.3% wasted
• Anaemia in pregnant women of 65.9%.
• High levels of illness, including 33% of children suffering fevers in the previous two weeks
• Very poor understanding of basic hygiene with only 7% of mothers washing their hands after cleaning a child who has defecated
• 89% of mothers not using a clean knife to cut the umbilical cord after birthing
• Poor recognition of children’s urgent medical needs
• Poor understanding of what constitutes good nutrition
• Only 12% of mothers exclusively breast fed in the first six months of life
SurfAid is addressing all these health problems through its Community Based Health Program (CBHP). The goal of CBHP is to reduce child mortality in the under-fives and the prevalence of illness and suffering. The program uses groups of volunteer women, who visit every individual home, empowered with health behaviour messages from SurfAid staff and supported by representative village groups.
The FCS strings are bright blue as a symbol of your support to SurfAid. Buy a leash string now and join the team of surfers supporting SurfAid. Buy a spare one to keep handy to ensure you are never stuck without one again.