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Nothing But Nets Blog
This World Malaria Day, we need your help more than ever.
Since 2006, Nothing But Nets has created the world’s largest grassroots network dedicated to keeping families in sub-Saharan Africa safe from malaria. The campaign has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to send nets and save lives from malaria, a disease spread by a single mosquito bite.
Sometimes you meet people that you know you’ll never forget, even if you don’t ever see them again. That happened yesterday during our trip to Gihembe refugee camp with our newest campaign partner, rock band Dawes. Gihembe is an overcrowded camp of more than 14,000 people living atop a hill in northern Rwanda near the Ugandan border. We met an amazing and resilient family of eight from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In 1996, the family fled to Gihembe to escape war after their father was killed in the violence.
My unforgettable visit today to Gihembe Refugee Camp in Rwanda with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign reinforced two things. One: Our collective work to fight malaria is paying off. Two: We still have a lot of work to do to end malaria deaths for good.
More than 14,000 people live in Gihembe in northern Rwanda, although it’s difficult to call these mud houses perched on terraced hillsides home.
Nothing But Nets began our journey to Rwanda learning more about this breathtakingly beautiful little country—nicknamed “The Land of 1,000 Hills”—and the people who call it home. Our hosts with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) greeted us and our partners with WWE and offered an overview of the country’s painful past.
Yesterday I did what I almost always do on Sundays–play with my two young sons, go for a long run, and generally just enjoy being at home with my family. I also spent a considerable amount of time packing for my first trip to Rwanda. I'm headed there today with the Nothing But Nets campaign and our friends at WWE to visit refugee camps with our partners at the UN Refugee Agency. We're going to distribute life-saving bed nets while we're there, to help ensure that all families fleeing violence and other hardships in the region and across the continent are protected from malaria. Even though we've made great progress against the disease, malaria is still a leading killer of refugees in Africa.
My alma mater, Loomis Chaffee School, has been a great supporter of Nothing But Nets. I have such strong ties to Loomis Chaffee’s campus in Connecticut—and it’s so rewarding to see what those connections can produce.
Nothing But Nets wrapped up 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan at Junior Chamber International’s World Congress, celebrating one of the campaign’s most active and effective partnerships. 2012 was a banner year for JCI and their work with Nothing But Nets: the organization and its 200,000 members worldwide came together to raise more than $500,000 to send nets and save lives. That’s more than 50,000 nets that will keep children and families safe from malaria throughout Africa! What makes JCI unique beyond its impressive fundraising is the passion and fun they bring to their support of Nothing But Nets.
I still remember the night I read the Sports Illustrated column by Rick Reilly that inspired the United Nations Foundation to launch the Nothing But Nets campaign. I gave immediately, and continued to give to Nothing But Nets over the years.
Our partners at the World Health Organization released the World Malaria Report 2012 yesterday. While there is some news to celebrate, the findings also present all of us with a serious challenge.
My past collided with my present a few weeks ago when I returned to my high school, Loomis Chaffee, in a small Connecticut town. The school's boys soccer team, which I played on years ago, was supporting Nothing But Nets during one of their biggest games of the year.
Before you gather with those dear to you to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your partnership with Nothing But Nets.
Because you cared enough to act, a family will sleep peacefully under a bed net tonight—safe from the deadly mosquitoes that carry malaria.
Leaders from around the world are gathering in Washington, DC this week with UNICEF and other organizations for a Child Survival Call to Action. These forward-thinking decision makers are discussing how to help protect the 7.6 million children who die before their fifth birthdays and ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
More than 130,000 refugees and counting have fled fighting along the border between Sudan and South Sudan. Thousands more are arriving at Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya every month. The camp, home to nearly 95,000 people, is over capacity, and new arrivals must stay in temporary shelters of plastic sheeting until they can build semi-permanent homes of mud brick.
My wife Kate, the mother of our two young boys, understood immediately when I explained to her that I wasn’t going to be home on Mother's Day. Instead, I was traveling to Africa. She knew that my trip would help bring hope, awareness, and life-saving bed nets to refugees fleeing violence in South Sudan.
Today we toured Kakuma Refugee Camp in the northern Kenya desert, home to nearly 95,000 refugees, about one-third of whom are from South Sudan. People there have walked days or weeks, or ridden buses, or flown in airplanes, to escape dangerous conditions in their home countries. They arrive exhausted, most with little or nothing.
Yet these people warmly welcomed our delegation from the United Nations Foundation and the Nothing But Nets campaign, greeting our group with smiles and waves. They have persevered through unimaginable hardship to arrive at Kakuma, where they are relieved to find safety.
Chris Helfrich, director of the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign, reports on the South Sudanese humanitarian crisis from Nairobi, Kenya.
This World Malaria Day, the eyes of the world are on South Sudan. More than 130,000 people—and counting—from the world’s newest nation have fled their homes to escape the violence on the border with Sudan. These refugees have evaded one deadly threat. But they face another in the camps they now call home: malaria.
In five years, Nothing But Nets has brought together the world’s largest group of partners and grassroots supporters to send nets to save lives from malaria. We’ve worked with everyone from athletes and ambassadors to boy scouts and bishops to spread the buzz about the fight to end this deadly disease. This World Malaria Day, we’re taking the buzz to Broadway!
Ever dreamed of traveling to New York City to see a Broadway show and getting a once-in-a-lifetime private, backstage tour? Now's your chance! Nothing But Nets recently teamed up with Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway to help spread the buzz to theatergoers about sending bed nets to save livesand saving lives. and prevent malaria in South Sudan. And we want YOU to be part of the action!
Nothing But Nets went to one of its favorite cities this week, Chicago, to announce an emergency appeal to help refugees in South Sudan and to kick-off a month-long series of events leading up to World Malaria Day on April 25. The situation in South Sudan is dire – over 130,000 refugees have fled their homes near the Sudan / South Sudan border, with another 75,000 expected this year, to escape violence that has been escalating since South Sudan won its independence last year. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing these families food, water and shelter, and Nothing But Nets is rallying its supporters to help send bed nets to South Sudan, where malaria is the leading killer of children under the age of 5.