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Nothing But Nets Blog
A recent report has shown that your support to send nets really does save lives! Roll Back Malaria, a global framework launched in 1998 that now consists of 500 partners, has released the third issue in its Progress & Impact Series -- Saving Lives with Malaria Control: Counting Down to the Millennium Development Goals.
The report outlines the major achievements the global malaria community has made on child mortality and achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, including the efforts of Nothing But Nets and you.
The Nothing But Nets team is planning for 2011 and wants your opinion! Take our quick survey -– let us know your feedback, ideas, and what you’d like to see more of from us.
Together, we've sent more than 3 million life-saving bednets to Africa, and we're that much closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals of ending malaria and reducing child mortality by 2015.
You've joined the global movement to fight malaria with Nothing But Nets. We're powered by you and the great work you do, so tell us how we're doing and share your ideas with us!
Not even a storm and loss of electricity can stop some of you from spreading the buzz. On Sunday, July 25, the United Methodist Women of Hamilton, Virginia, hosted an African-themed event to raise awareness and support Nothing But Nets. They also provided their guests with a small taste of Africa!
Plans for music, dancing, eating, and raising awareness were only slightly dampened by a huge afternoon storm and loss of power. Undeterred, the attendees dined by candlelight and enjoyed African cuisine. Guests of the event were able to view African artwork on display while they had the opportunity to win donated door prizes, including "Best Dressed" in traditional attire.
Despite the rain and lack of electricity, the group was able to come together and raise enough to send 40 life-saving bed nets. Great work!
Singer/actress Mandy Moore has a message for you: Help Nothing But Nets send life-saving bed nets to everyone who needs one in the Central African Republic (CAR). Check out the video to see what Mandy has to say, then send a net today!
This year, Nothing But Nets, PSI, and Mandy Moore aim to send 837,000 nets to CAR. Help us reach our goal: Send a net. Save a life. Together we can cover a continent!
In case you missed it, on August 12 I had the privilege of joining singer and actress Mandy Moore, social activist (and malaria survivor) Derrick Ashong and PSI (Population Services International) in an awesome, one of a kind event—a Malaria Town Hall hosted on Facebook. With Derrick and Mandy joining from Los Angeles and PSI expert Angus Spiers and me joining from Washington, DC—and thousands of people tuning in from across the country and the world—we hosted a live-streaming discussion about malaria, with questions from people just like you.
It was an amazing experience! Thanks to all of the partners who helped to make it possible, including Facebook, UStream, and VSee. And - thanks to all of you who joined! We had tons of questions streaming in throughout the event. So many, in fact, that we were not able to answer them all! Check out some of the "Unanswered Questions"from the town hall below.
Yesterday I had the honor of joining a cadre of young leaders -- university students and young professionals -- in Seoul, Korea, as they joined the global movement to end malaria in Africa. Nets Go! is a new initiative providing Koreans the opportunity to send nets and save lives. During a three-day exhibit in Seoul City Plaza called "Night in Africa - Safe from Malaria," thousands of Koreans were able to experience the simplicity and beauty of a $10 (10,000 Korean won) life-saving bed net through an artistic display of illuminated bed nets. 3,000 volunteers, representing the number of lives we are working to save each day from malaria, came to the heart of Seoul to show their support for ending this deadly disease by 2015.
Move over, fish nets -- there is a new kind of netting on 5th Avenue. Meet Alexandra Taylor, a recent graduate from Parsons School of Design who has been raising awareness about malaria in a unique fashion.
When Rick Reilly wrote his article in Sports Illustrated titled "Nothing But Nets" in 2006 he talked about hoop nets, soccer nets, lacrosse nets, New Jersey Nets, dot-nets and clarinets. He never once mentioned fashion nets. But Alexandra Taylor, a Nothing But Nets supporter, took his words to heart and did what she does best: design clothes.
Now, you may remember last year's Ugly Betty season premiere in which Betty ran a fashion show inspired by the issue of malaria prevention that supported Nothing But Nets. Well, Betty must have taken notes from Alexandra because that is exactly what Alexandra has been doing for the past year. Her senior thesis was dedicated to incorporating the issue of malaria and the beauty of a bed net into her collection: bed net textures on blazers, soft netting material on blouses, mosquito patterns on silk belts, and more.
Alexandra hopes to continue to spread the buzz through net-inspired clothing by selling her scarves, belts, and the works to fashion (and philanthropic) minded individuals.
Log in, head to the Nothing But Nets fan page, and start watching at 2pm ET. Ask Mandy all your questions about malaria and learn why we're working with her to send life-saving bed nets to every family that needs one in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Then, send "Moore" nets to save more lives in CAR - together, we can save a continent!
Last Friday the Nothing But Nets campaign did something we have never done before. We took 20 NBA and WNBA players, coaches, and Legends, to kick off a distribution of 20,000 life-saving bed nets in the town of Rufisque, Senegal—a small town outside the capital, Dakar.
As you drive into Rufisque, it's easy to see why malaria is such a rampant killer—the town is densely populated and the aging, dilapidated infrastructure leaves pools of standing water during the rainy season we are currently in the midst of—the perfect breeding ground for the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
When we arrived in Rufisque, the town had gathered with the local officials to welcome the NBA players and talk about the importance of sleeping under bed nets each and every night. Rufisque has a goal for 2010: no severe cases of malaria and no deaths. This bed net distribution will go a long way to making this possible.
To make the distribution manageable, we split into groups and took five different routes along main streets through the town. I headed out with NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo, Nothing But Nets Champion DeSagana Diop (Charlotte Bobcats), Danilo Gallinari (New York Knicks) and Ronny Turiaf (New York Knicks).
Tomorrow the Nothing But Nets campaign will team up with 20 NBA players, Legends and coaches to start the distribution of 20,000 life-saving bed nets in Rufisque, Senegal, a small town outside the capital, Dakar.
This distribution effort is part of a universal coverage campaign here in Senegal - meaning one net for every sleeping space.
So today we traveled to Rufisque to join the community health workers as they surveyed the community, traveling house to house, family to family, to record the number of sleeping spaces and, thus, the number of nets needed.
Over the course of the day I was able to learn about Les Trois Toutes!
Toute la famille
Toutes les nuits
All of the family
All of the year
All of the night
This campaign slogan is being promoted throughout Senegal as the country takes huge strides toward combatting malaria.
It's the buzziest time of the summer for boy scouts as more than 40,000 scouts from across the nation gathered at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, for the Boy Scout National Jamboree. I had the honor of joining more than 5,000 scouts on an open field on a beautiful and sunny morning at the United Methodist Church's Sunday service at the Jamboree. Nothing But Nets Champion Bishop Bickerton delivered the day's message and talked about the important leadership role that scouts and Methodists can play to end one of the deadliest diseases in history. Bishop Bickerton then challenged the group to do what they could right then and there, and led the way with his own donation to the campaign. I was blown away by the response. The future leaders immediately stepped up to the plate as global citizens and humanitarians and collected more than $12,000 from the crowd for the purchase of 1,200 life-saving bed nets for families in Africa.
Scouts also committed to continue to spread the buzz about malaria by proudly wearing their commemorative Nothing But Nets patches with the United Methodist Church and by starting Nothing But Nets service projects in their home community. If other scouts are interested in starting a project and earning a service ribbon for the 100 Year Anniversary, make sure you check out our toolkit specifically for scouts. After all, it was through Lord Baden Powell's experiences in Africa that inspired him to start the Scouting Movement. After 100 years of Scouting, we need to ensure his legacy carries on, and we can by helping the most vulnerable families in Africa prevent malaria.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a supporter event in Springfield, VA. One of our long-time youth supporters, Elisabeth Clymer, hosted a swim-a-thon at her local pool in support of Nothing But Nets. There were swimmers of all ages who had received pledges for the amount of laps they would swim. Elisabeth also reached out to our friends at Orkin for additional sponsorship, and a masseuse was on hand to help the spectators relax and enjoy the warm summer morning.
Once the swimming started, the laps started adding up. All together, the team, known as the Cobias, swam a total of 6,783 laps! That adds up to over 105 miles! Once all of the pledges were counted, the Cobias had raised enough to send nearly 400 life-saving bed nets! It was an incredible event to attend and I felt lucky to see so much support for ending malaria deaths in Africa. Elisabeth's hard work is an inspiration and a great example of what young people can do in their own communities to have a global impact.
The UN has identified an urgent need to send life-saving bed nets to everyone who needs one in the Central African Republic (CAR) by the end of this year. We're happy to announce that singer and actress Mandy Moore and PSI (Population Services International) are joining us and our UN partners to fill this need.
We have a special opportunity for you to learn more about this project, from Mandy herself! Join us on August 12 at 2pm ET for an exclusive chance to ask Mandy (and us) your questions during an interactive Facebook Townhall discussion. It's easy—you'll log in to Facebook, head to the Nothing But Nets page, and join the live conversation with Mandy and our malaria experts.
Scientists at the University of Arizona have made outstanding progress on stopping malaria in its tracks. Led by scientist Michael Riehle, the scientists have had incredible success developing malaria-free mosquitoes.
How does one make a malaria-free mosquito? This works two ways: First, we know that malaria is caused by a parasite that the mosquito carries. The mosquito transfers this parasite to humans when she bites them. So, the scientists were able to create mosquitoes that can no longer be infected with malaria and cannot transfer it to humans. Second, only mature mosquitoes can carry the malaria parasite. The scientists were able to create mosquitoes that do not live long enough to carry the disease.
Now they just have to spread these new and improved mosquitoes to the entire mosquito population. Easier said than done! Using only the modified mosquitoes can take up to 10 to 20 years, according to the article. Despite this timeframe, "researchers are optimistic that genetic engineering of mosquitoes will be an important piece of the malaria-prevention puzzle."
Until then, let's keep spreading the buzz to send nets and save lives so we can reach the United Nations goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015.
A long time ago, my wife Maureen and I experimented with ways to raise money for Nothing But Nets™. In our commitment to battle malaria to the best of our abilities, we tried many things: at first, we simply went door-to-door dressed in our Sunday finery. When that failed we tried dressing as large mosquitoes and handed out homemade cookies. That produced mixed results, although the cookies were a hit. We still weren't happy with the level of awareness or money we were raising, so we put together a small music festival which was very successful and ballooned into Lilith Fair, but malaria got nary a penny. In quick succession we attempted a garage sale (some success), a pie-eating contest (more success), a dance (rip-roaring success) and a mime show (no success at all).
We finally came up with a basketball game to raise awareness and money and it was a huge success, certainly more than the mime show. Having set fundraising goals early on, we found we had exceeded them before the game was even played.
The connection between the newly crowned World Cup Champions of Spain and the continent of Africa goes beyond South Africa hosting this year's tournament. As España's soccer team was busy fighting to be the world's best on the field, a group of former Spanish basketball legends and celebrities were busy playing in a game of their own where the proceeds would support Nothing But Nets™ in their global fight against malaria! The 2nd annual "Partido Contra La Malaria" celebrity basketball game took place at the La Plana sports hall in Barcelona where Team Vida (Life) played against Team Deporte (Sport).
In addition to the renowned former men???s basketball players, other participants included Sergi Bruguera, former champion of Roland Garros; Mireia Belmonte, Olympian and European swimming Champion and Jordi "Chiqui" Sans, international and five-time water polo Olympian. The teams were also mixed with four Spanish women's national team players, Lucila Pascua, Anna Cruz, Laura Camps and Silvia Dominguez. It was undeniably a very exciting and competitive game, with the final score, in the high 80s. But the points that were scored were insignificant compared to the satisfaction that all the participants felt in contributing to the fight against such a deadly disease.
I had the amazing opportunity to go work with 2010 AMERICAN IDOL runner ups Tim Urban, Katie Stevens, and Aaron Kelly a couple weeks ago before they started up their summer tour around the U.S. I traveled to Auburn Hills, Michigan, to spend the day with the IDOL contestants and film a short public service announcement for the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets™. AMERICAN IDOL will be showing this video at every one of their concerts this summer! (See if they're coming to a city near you: http://www.americanidol.com/tour)
Tim, Katie, and Aaron were so fun to be around and so wonderful to take part of their rehearsal day to shoot a video with us about malaria. By the end of the shoot, they were all wearing Nothing But Nets™ wristbands and talking about how they wanted to go to Africa to help make a difference. Thank you to AMERICAN IDOL for caring about the cause of malaria and helping Nothing But Nets™ engage thousands of concert-goers this summer to donate $10 to send a net and save a life. Check out the video below:
With the Boy Scouts, Concerts, and the Colorado Rapids, we had a great time in the mile-high city. Though three days of straight rain had us feeling like we were back in Seattle, we kept on trucking—and on the one day the sun came out, so did the camera crews! Here's a clip of Mozzie and crew on the evening news!
Co-authored by Dave Burton
Part 1: Sunday, July 11
On Friday night, United Against Malaria hosted a reception for all of the partners to wrap up a great collaboration over the last year, ending with the World Cup final games this weekend. It was a great opportunity to meet the different partners, and hear about their involvement. A true highlight was listening to the stories of Kingsley Holgate's expeditions up and down the rivers of Africa distributing bed nets.
From there we headed down to the concert. This was a truly proud night for malaria. Our malaria PSAs had the full attention of 12,000 people, who also heard personal stories from two soccer players and a passionate and beautiful presentation from South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka. It was great to see the United Against Malaria logo up on the screens throughout the concert - a fantastic tribute to how far this partnership has come. We also heard from singer Andrea Bocelli and a children's choir.
Co-Authored by Dave Burton
From the very humorous comment made by the KLM pilot leaving Amsterdam that "We will be able to get going as soon as the last of the vuvuzelas are loaded," to the decked out airport, to the international flags lining all the major roadways, it is clear that World Cup fever is everywhere.
We are now down to the final two teams in the tournament, and the talk turns to who everyone is now rooting for. No matter your favorite, being here in South Africa is a source of great pride for the country, and a fantastic chance for the world to focus its attention on the continent of Africa, both for its enormous beauty and its struggles.
Tonight, during the finale concert, we will have the opportunity to share important stories about malaria throughout the performances. I hope that along with football fever, team loyalty, and a great time, people are able to see that now is the time to get involved and make a difference. We are united against malaria. Send a net. Save a life.