Anti-Poverty Wristband Sales Top 500,000 after Mandela Visit

Last week the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela visited London to rally poverty eradication in 2005, as invited by the UK-based global anti-poverty campaign Make Poverty History. Mandela’s powerful speech at Trafalgar Square has inspired many youths to play a part in the campaign.

Yesterday, in a press release from the British Christian charity Tearfund, it was announced that the sales of white bands, symbol of the Make Poverty History campaign, have gone through the roof with more than half a million sold in just four weeks.

Martin Drewry of Christian Aid, speaking on behalf of Make Poverty History, said, "In just a few weeks we’ve sold more than 100,000 white bands. The response has been incredible and very encouraging. The message is getting through to the public and we’re gathering new supporters for the campaign daily. It shows the huge level of concern about trade justice, debt and aid."

60,000 were sold online last week, many of the charity shops selling the bands have sold out and many more are now being bought by mobile text message. Sale of the white bands was clearly boosted by Nelson Mandela’s support of the campaign in London.

Save the Children’s Matt Phillips, speaking on behalf of Make Poverty History, said, "The demand for the white bands and support by stars for the campaign has been phenomenal and there’s a real momentum gathering. This sends a clear message to politicians that they must take big steps this year to make poverty a thing of the past. A child dies from poverty every three seconds. This must be the year of change."

Many British stars are in fact supporting the campaign, including Lemar, Keane, Jamelia and Minnie Driver. Celebrities such as Rhys Ifans, Denise Van Outen, Graham Norton, McFly, June Sarpong, Busted, Travis and Davinia McCall have all been sporting the white band in support of the campaign since it was launched.

Lemar said, "Singing on Band Aid 20 made me realize just how many people in the world are so poor. It’s awful and it’s not right that anyone in today’s world should die of hunger. There should be enough food to go around for everybody. That’s why I’m happy to wear the white band and support Make Poverty History."

Last Christmas, the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid 20 has become the most popular CD across Britain. It raised money for 1.6 million victims of the ongoing strife in Darfur, Sudan. Britons have shown clearly that they are in fact very charitable, and particularly among the youth of the nation a new hope is rising.