On August 16, members of the Nothing But Nets campaign traveled from Washington D.C. to St. Louis, USA to build support for malaria prevention.
JCI Nothing But Nets focuses on raising US $10 to support the purchase, distribution and installation of a life-saving mosquito net. However, JCI members and other young active citizens can play a different huge role in the fight against malaria deaths: advocacy.
Advocacy in the United States
Nothing But Nets Advocacy Team member Kimberly Sutton, Senior Partnership Associate Drake Carden and Nothing But Nets campaign Deputy Director Margaret McDonnell, along with some JCI World Headquarters staff members, set out on an important mission in St. Louis. The group met with US Senator Roy Blunt and US Senator Claire McCaskill, educating them and their staff on the importance of ending malaria deaths and the support needed from the United States government.
The US government has two types of programs that support the awareness, prevention and treatment of malaria.
During the advocacy meetings, the Nothing But Nets team explained how malaria is contracted, who it affects and how lives can be saved across Africa through Nothing But Nets. They also expressed the importance of the continued congressional support of the PMI and Global Fund to eradicating malaria deaths in Africa.
Secretary General Edson A. Kodama had the opportunity to share information about JCI, our partnership with Nothing But Nets and the support we have from nearly 200,000 young active citizens around the world to combat malaria. Executive Director of Growth and Development Arrey Obenson talked about his 2011 trip to Cameroon to observe a net distribution with our partners at the local level.
These personal anecdotes helped make the problem a tangible concept for the Senators and their employees and inspired them to renew their focus on this worthy cause. Gathering partners, JCI staff, JCI USA staff and local JCI members from JCI Metro St. Louis proved to be a great way to show the US Senators that their constituents care about this global issue. It also helped them see the important role the US can play in saving children and their families from malaria.
Saving Lives With Pride
After an afternoon of successful meetings, the Nothing But Nets team hosted a reception at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis before a performance of Disney’s The Lion King: The Musical. Community members, JCI members and staff attended the reception and the show, with proceeds going directly to Nothing But Nets.
The Nothing But Nets campaign is partnered with Disney and Nederlander across the United States and has held many receptions at a variety of Broadway tour shows this year. At the reception in St. Louis, Deputy Director Margaret McDonnell gave special thanks to JCI for our continued support for the campaign trough JCI Nothing But Nets. Attendees enjoyed drinks, food and a fun social atmosphere before being dazzled by a spectacle of costumes and music once The Lion King began. The show celebrates the splendor of Africa, especially its wildlife, music and culture, making it a great reminder of the work JCI members are doing to eradicate malaria across the majestic continent.
Donate to your country’s JCI team on Crowdrise today to send a net and save a life.
Learn more about you can be a NET-vocate to your local government officials promoting their support of malaria prevention and treatment funding.