I’m a sucker for a love story. I’m addicted to that warm fuzzy feeling. I know it is cliché, I know it is corny, but nothing excites me more than to hear a tale of how two people met and as a consequence decided that they were, in fact, meant to be. Sigh. So when I stumbled across this very cute tale of fated love, I was besotted and had to share it at once. You see, this saga combines exotic lands, a boy, a girl, a van, a dog called Bow Wow (not to be confused with the rapper) and a mission to spread a little bit of hope throughout the globe
. (You’re hooked already aren’t you?)
Enter the Vagabond Adventurers
, Lachlan McWilliam and Lucie Galt a.k.a the co-founders of inspiring charity Band4Hope
. They met in 2009, and were immediately drawn together due to their mutual love of adventure. Come date five, the two had decided to take to the African hinterlands for the ultimate South African road trip.
A critical chapter of their story, says Lucie, was rescuing “a township puppy in Cape Town. [We] called him Bow Wow. He was not part of the original plan but has been an integral member of our team as an instant maker of friends, alarm system, protector, loyal companion and of course peacemaker.”
Together, the three camped in dry river beds in Namibia, swum with whale sharks in Mozambique, tracked shy black rhinos in Swaziland, camped in the middle of the Makgadikgadi salt pans in Botswana and were even accused of trying to assassinate President Mugabe in Zimbabwe (another story for another blog)! Jealous yet? I know I am.
During the 30,000 kilometre journey the couple learned “that essentially human beings are all the same; we want to be happy, to love, to be free
” so started seeking opportunities to help the local communities through trade. They stumbled across an ethical business in Zimbabwe which produces, amongst other things, copper and zinc wristbands believed to have empowering properties
. The people of the community give the wristbands as tokens of love, brotherhood, good luck, virility and wisdom
. As such, these little wristbands became the catalyst for a big idea and just like that the couple’s charity Band4hope
Next, the bands were engraved with a unique ID with the aim to sell them to people who’ll wear them for a month or so before passing them on. The simple but effective plan: spread the message of hope.
When you buy and register a Band4Hope
, you choose a charity that you’d like it to support on its travels. Initially, 10 per cent of the sale price goes to this charity. Then when you pass on your Band4Hope
, each person who receives it has the opportunity to make a donation to your chosen charity before they give it to the next person. All donations are recorded on a HopeTrail meaning your Band4Hope
can raise donations for your chosen charity for years to come. Pretty cute hey?
What’s even better... “Each Band4Hope
is handmade in Zimbabwe by craftsmen who are paid fairly and using the finest copper mined in Africa. This is where copper historically comes from and is known as the continent’s ‘red gold’. The bands really are a little piece of Africa and are already imbued with the hopes of its skilled Zimbabwean creators
,” says Lucie.
Ethical, sustainable, charitable and extremely romantic. So as these empowered wristbands make their way around the global what is Lachlan and Lucie’s hope for the world?
“We hope that in our lifetime mankind manages to work together to preserve wild creatures & places. Our fate is interwoven with nature.”
So what’s yours? Eliza Cracknell is madison’s deputy chief sub-editor. You can follow her on twitter here