The Reach Campaign and Rivoli Group partner to help eradicate NTDs in vulnerable communities
14 October 2021

The Reach Campaign, an awareness and fundraising initiative which aims to end neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), announced today - on World Sight Day - that it is partnering with Rivoli Group as part of its ‘50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives’ campaign. 

Continuing the commitment of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to disease elimination, Reach aims to help end two devastating NTDs, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.

Under the partnership theme of ‘It’s Time to See the End of River Blindness’, the two organisations have installed an eye-catching sand time clock at The Galleria Al Maryah Island, that will count-down the next 50 days of the campaign and engage the public to contribute to the cause. 

As the campaign’s first marketing partner, Rivoli Group will have all their stores i.e. across both watches and eyewear, participate by donating a portion of proceeds from the sales of selected products to help end river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in vulnerable communities. Both divisions of the Rivoli Group – Watches & Vision Care –  will be supporting the fundraising through special initiatives across their stores, which will include matching the AED 2/- contribution on every purchase made by a customer. Additionally, Rivoli Vision eyewear stores will also donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of selected eyewear products as well as aim to generate customer donation through vision screening pop-ups. 

Tala Al Ramahi, Acting Managing Director of the Reach Campaign, said: “We are proud to partner with Rivoli Group on our efforts to end NTDs. This partnership will allow us to bring the Reach Campaign directly to consumers across several of Rivoli Group’s stores throughout the UAE. As our official marketing partner, Rivoli Group is activating on multiple levels, offering customers various touchpoints to participate in the campaign. Such multi-faceted collaborations are essential to the success of our campaign, as it is only through unified efforts that we will be able to accelerate progress towards elimination. 

“River blindness and lymphatic filariasis have a devastating impact on impoverished communities around the world. The Reach Campaign aims to mobilise our partners to provide pathways for the public to contribute to efforts to end NTDs. We thank the Rivoli Group for joining us today to officially kick off the ’50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives’ campaign and look forward to working together over the next 50 days to achieve our ambitious goals.”

Ramesh Prabhakar, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner of the Rivoli Group, said: “We are very pleased to collaborate with the Reach Campaign for a cause that is in line with our mission - to achieve the goal of providing high quality vision care to the maximum number of people whose lives we can transform through our contribution. Rivoli Group has always believed in using its resources and skills to give back to society and has been at the forefront of such initiatives. Having said that, this particular initiative is directly connected to our vision care business and we are privileged to work with Reach to align with their goal and look forward to making a measurable impact through our partnership and commitment to eradicating river blindness.” 

River blindness, also known by its technical name ‘onchocerciasis’, is a parasitic disease that infects the eyes and skin of human beings. It is the second leading cause of preventable blindness. Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is an NTD that damages the human lymph system and causes limbs to swell. Over 200 million people worldwide are in need of treatment for river blindness while 859 million people in 50 countries remain at risk of lymphatic filariasis the majority of the burden being in Africa. NTDs affect more than 1.5 billion of the world’s most impoverished people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year.

Commenting on the initiative David Robinson, General Manager of The Galleria Al Maryah Island said, “We are pleased to host the partnership launch event for the Reach Campaign, an initiative that seeks to shed light on important and often neglected tropical diseases. Supporting vulnerable communities has always been part of The Galleria’s ethos and we are looking forward to collaborating with the Reach Campaign in helping them to reach their goals for their ’50 Days to Transform 5 Million Lives’ campaign.”

The UAE’s strategy for disease elimination is to help keep preventable diseases at the top of the political agenda, maintain progress made so far, raise funding levels, and work closely with global partners and multilateral initiatives to increase impact. All proceeds from Rivoli will be administered through Reach’s strategic partner – Emirates Red Crescent.  

Proceeds from Reach go towards the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF), which offers a proof of concept for the elimination of the two diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hosted by the END Fund, RLMF is a 10-year, $100 million USD initiative launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with support from several leading global philanthropic organisations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The ELMA Philanthropies. 

Just AED 2 can provide the medicine and treatment to protect one person from river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, and several other co-endemic diseases for the entire year. 

Customers can donate AED 2 to the Reach Campaign with any purchase made at a Rivoli store, by texting the word GIVE to 2424, or through Reach’s website: 

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