CYBERTORIAL* Calling all visitors and exhibitors of the Markex and Madex 2017 events; it’s your opportunity to spread the love – and the warmth – this winter.
The organiser of the Markex and co-located Madex 2017 shows, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery has pledged its support to Street Sleeper, an organisation that makes survival sleeping bags for the homeless from upcycled advertising billboards, in the lead up to and duration of the shows, which are taking place on 7 and 8 June 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Exhibitors have been called upon to donate survival sleeping bags thereby helping to transform the negative impact of waste into immediate relief for those living on the street.
According to Nick Sarnadas, event director at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, the exhibition company will match the number of sleeping bags donated by exhibitors.
“We are also encouraging visitors to Madex and Markex 2017 to support the initiative, by bringing blankets and clothes to the shows, which can be handed over at a collection point in the registration area,” he says.
One of the many difficulties that homeless people face is being disconnected from mainstream society, explains Sarah Isaacs at Street Sleeper. Social barriers in South Africa alienate those living on the streets by blocking any opportunities they might have to make positive changes to their lives. Day-to-day survival replaces the innate human need for self-fulfilment, widening the social divide and perpetuating the cycle of homelessness.
Street Sleeper represents the bridge across this divide, creating a connection between those that want to help the homeless and those in the homeless community that want to help themselves.
Driven by innovation, compassion, technology, collaboration and left-field thinking, the NPO believes that the uniqueness of its product – a survival sleeping bag created from waste – is a powerful advocacy tool that highlights issues facing society’s most disadvantaged members.
Since the winter of 2014, Street Sleeper has distributed more than 6 000 sleeping bags across the Western Cape, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Kimberley and East London, diverting 10 tonnes (24 000sqm) of PVC waste from landfill. In addition, the initiative has provided employment and skills development for economically marginalised members of society.
For winter 2017, the NPO’s aim is to produce and distribute 4 000 sleeping bags, while further decentralising distribution to major South African cities by identifying like minded change-makers, the likes of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, who want to get actively involved.
“With the Madex and Markex shows taking place at the start of winter, we are pleased to be able to assist with an initiative like Street Sleeper, one that will make a positive difference to the lives of our homeless community during what is a harsh season for them,” says Sarnadas.
For more information on Street Sleeper, please visit www.streetsleeper.org.
For free entrance into Madex 2017, please visit www.madex.co.za. To register for free entry to the Markex general section of the hall, please click on www.markex.co.za. Trade visitors must pay R100 entry fee for access to the Markex reseller zone. Save R50 by registering online, and receiving the exclusive registration link from your supplier.
*Cybertorial is sponsored content