Day 3 and the HERO team awoke to a very exciting opportunity…

by David in 4. (O)NE-FOR-ONE

Day 3 and the HERO team were back to the airport to greet the arrival of Tim Dormer, Winner of Australian Big Brother 2013 and current contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. Tim approached HERO after hearing about the brand and our cause and expressed a keen interest to learn more about the positive social impact we were helping to create in Botswana. It was this genuine passion and support of what HERO were doing that lead to an invitation to be extended to Tim to join the team on our journey to Botswana. Tim has a long history of volunteer work and would like to fulfil his own personal desire to be more involved with socially responsible causes. It was this perfect alignment that conceptualised the ‘HERO Intern’ #HEROIntern; an on-going initiative that provides the opportunity for everyday people to join HERO on our fight to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and save lives.

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The team then made our way to the community of ‘Old Naledi’, the very first township in Gaborone City which has since become one of the largest shantytowns in Botswana. It is home to almost 20,000 people who struggle in poverty and inconsistent access to electricity and running water, with each home having up to 20 people living in them at any one time. Botswana is currently facing a water shortage, with the local dam dried up due to a recent lack of rainfall, the direct affects of which are very evident in ‘Old Naledi’.

The HERO team have partnered with the volunteers at ‘Bona Naledi’, who have acted as our local mobilisation team and have allowed us to access the community and its members. All the volunteers are not only welcoming and very caring but they have shown a strong community spirit, which is admirable. The HERO team had an opportunity to walk through the township visiting locals at their houses, the medical center and to see what other infrastructure is currently in place. This particular medical center is free for everyone and open 24 hours everyday. This is where the people of Old Naledi have access to free medicine and should have access to free condoms.

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The following day with the help of Salim and his team of volunteers, HERO staged a free concert at Gaborone Bus Stop. This is a busy hub filled with a constant flow of people coming and going; there are market stalls, street food and mini-buses filled to the brim with commuters. The stage was set up early in the morning with a variety of local artists performing throughout the day. This was an opportunity for HERO to create awareness of the brand, our initiative and of course to distribute our custom made condoms into the hands of the community. We knew before arriving that the condoms were going to be well received but we could not believe how fast they were actually being donated, 50,000 condoms were distributed in only 2hours demonstrating that there is a real and constant need for access to condoms.

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A second concert was held in the afternoon at another local hot spot, where a further 20,000 condoms were distributed. The atmosphere was electric with the locals showing off their incredible dance moves and really getting behind the HERO mission. Volunteers distributed condoms and had an opportunity to educate the locals about correct condoms usage.

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After spending the past two days in the local neighbourhood, the HERO team have been overwhelmed by the positive, happy and supportive attitude of the locals. They have overwhelmingly welcomed our team and our donations into their community. This has only inspired us more, but we need our retailers and customers to help us with this, so please remember to always choose to purchase HERO, so we can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of people in Botswana.

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