Every April 25, World Malaria Day marks an annual milestone to rally support for the fight against malaria.
Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria, a disease spread by a single mosquito bite. Through JCI’s partnership with the UN Foundation, JCI members have risen to meet this global challenge with the JCI Nothing But Nets campaign, which delivers insecticide-treated nets to sub-Saharan Africa. JCI members living in areas where malaria poses a direct threat assist with distribution and education on the nets’ proper use. Those living in areas free of malaria-spreading mosquitoes raise awareness and funds so each and every family at risk can sleep safely at night.
Since 2008, JCI members have raised funds to deliver more than 100,000 nets to Africa. But many more families still need help. More than 130,000 refugees fleeing the violence on the border of South Sudan are now at high risk of contracting malaria. As the UN Refugee Agency works to provide food, water and shelter, the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign is aiming to send 100,000 life-saving nets, the most cost-effective way to help these families sleep safely. You can still help meet this goal by donating now to save a life..
Raising Awareness Through Education
Half a world away, the young active citizens of JCI Dutch Caribbean showed their support for JCI Nothing But Nets through a unique project with a local school. Even though this disease is not prevalent in their community, local administrators of the Emmy Berthold school in Curaçao and JCI members wanted the students to discover that there are children just like them who can be saved from a deadly mosquito bite with just one insecticide-treated net.
JCI members and school staff started the program by introducing the JCI Nothing But Nets campaign to all 105 students. Students from age 4 to 6 made mosquitoes out of paper, placed a net over a crib in their classroom and put their mosquitoes on the net showing how the baby was protected. The students also wrote short poems highlighting what they learned about malaria. The 6- to 8-year-old children decorated the classroom with malaria-related crafts and presented ways to prevent mosquito bites. The oldest children, ages 11 and 12, researched malaria and made posters displaying the information they learned. The school staff expressed interest in working with JCI on future endeavors. They believe exposure to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) forms a key element of their students’ education.
Uniting with Partners for Change
In preparation for World Malaria Day, JCI Secretary General Edson A. Kodama represented JCI at a reception on April 23 hosted by the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign at the United Nations in New York City. Nothing But Nets partners, champions and distinguished guests shared their passion for the cause. Each attendee had the chance to “NET-work” with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as he expressed his support for the campaign.
“In the fight to end malaria, we need to be nimble and quick to score victories,” he said.
UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support for the campaign and World Malaria Day.
“It takes a village to send those nets and we can do it thanks to you and our awesome partners,” she said.
A number of other events were held across the United States to raise awareness for Nothing But Nets. Three JCI Illinois members attended a performance of the musical Fela in Chicago in honor of sending nets to save lives. UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Director Chris Helfrich attended along with representatives from other Nothing But Nets partners such as the WNBA, Nederlander Producing Company, the Boy Scouts of America and the Greater Chicago Chapter of the UN Association.
After the show, the lead actor talked about Nothing But Nets and invited the audience to donate. Future ticket sales will include a US $10 donation to Nothing But Nets. JCI North Carolina members attended a similar event in Durham. Nothing But Nets will continue to be the featured charity of select touring Broadway shows for the rest of the year.
Turn your life-saving passion into action beyond World Malaria Day by making sure your JCI Local or National Organization makes plans to raise awareness and funding for JCI Nothing But Nets. Upload your projects on the JCI Project Gallery.
Send a net to save a life today by donating to your JCI National Organization’s team on Crowdrise.