Whenever we make a connection between a marketer and a cause, we hope that they will get on well, but some connections still surprise us with the degree of success they managed to achieve!
Faiz Kermani is a marketer with a unique background in medical research and in 2013 we introduced him to the World Medical Fund (WMF), a charity that runs mobile health clinics that treat children in remote parts of Malawi. WMF was looking for help with their marketing and communications strategy and Faiz was happy to get involved to see how he could best support their work.
Three years on Faiz has supported the charity in many ways and is now an official board member. And most recently he is using his passion for writing children’s books to help raise money for WMF’s important work.
Nazlie Chan-Wing-Yen, Project Coordinator for WMF, said “Faiz has been and is a great asset to WMF as he understands the medical side of our work as well as our marketing needs and it was so exciting when he came up with the idea of the book to raise funds”.
Faiz has written several children’s books with humorous themes such as The Frog in the Skyscraper and The Frog Who Loved Mathematics. His latest publication The Frog Who was Blue goes on sale on the 28th of January and can be purchased through Amazon or Troubador Publishing.
Faiz said, “We thought that a children’s book, with a story set in Malawi, might make for an entertaining diversion for children attending the clinics.” His new book features protagonist Biriwita, a blue frog who longs to be accepted at Croak College, the most famous school for frogs in Malawi. However, when he gets there he has to overcome the struggle of appearing to be very different from the all the frogs around him.
“We hope that the book can raise the profile of WMF, since the charity’s life-saving work relies entirely on donations,” comments Faiz. “WMF’s focus is on the region’s poorest and most vulnerable children, including AIDS orphans.”
Graphic designer Naomi Powell was also recruited through Pimp My Cause to create the playful and colourful illustrations for The Frog Who Was Blue.
Book sales will support the ongoing work of WMF, which treats 25,000 children each year. Their mobile clinic brings medical staff and supplies to the remotest parts of Africa and delivers life-saving medical care. Thousands of children are alive today as a direct result of the treatment they provide.
One example of their programmes is their work with children affected by AIDS. In 2005 antiretroviral medicine became available free of charge in Malawi for everyone infected with the AIDS virus, however children under 13 years of age were excluded.
Nazlie said, “We couldn’t stand by and watch innocent children suffer the painful and undignified death that is the final outcome of AIDS so began our own programme, buying the antiretroviral medicine at an annual cost of $500 per child. But many of the children are orphans and it was difficult to ensure they attended every month for essential ongoing clinical appraisals and the prescription of their medicine.
“So we opened the Thandizo centre, which is unlike any other medical centre. It is a playground and a sports centre, with games, toys and even a TV. These are diversions for children that simply do not exist in Nkhotakota. Our problem is no longer persuading children to attend every month; but persuading them to go home at the end of their day! And since 2007 we are now receiving the antiretroviral medicine free of charge.”
If you are inspired to contribute to WMF’s incredible work, they are currently looking for social media volunteers. You could work remotely to help their efforts to engage donations and supporters, so that WMF can provide more children with life-saving medical care.