Advocacy in Action
Nothing But Nets champions come from all walks of life; they range from young kids to senior citizens, small towns to big cities, students to CEOs. But these champions all share one thing in common – a passion for showing their members of Congress that they care about saving lives and defeating malaria.
Our champions are out on the front lines, raising their voices through online petitions, taking time to meet and build relationships with their representatives though in-district meetings, and expressing their commitment to the fight against malaria through hand-written letters, phone calls and hosting events.
Their stories and actions help make a difference in the lives of millions, because when you let your representatives know you care about saving lives and defeating malaria, they care too. For instance:
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) recently honored 12 year-old Nothing But Nets champion Cooper Smith for his efforts to defeat malaria. For the past two years, Cooper has asked his friends to forgo giving gifts for his birthday and to instead donate money for bed nets, raising money to help over 300 families protect themselves from malaria. Because of his efforts, Congresswoman Lee, who has been a tireless and crucial voice in Congress in the fight against malaria, joined Nothing But Nets before a Golden State Warriors game to thank Cooper for his efforts.
In addition, when you advocate, you can:
Help inform your representatives’ decisions about what programs to fund, including malaria programs like the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and funding for UN agencies like UNICEF and UNHCR;
- Last year, the United States Jaycees traveled across the U.S. for more than 2 months, organizing more than 60 meetings with Congressional staff in 16 different states to let members know why funding for malaria interventions like insecticide-treated bed nets is so important.
- Boy Scout and Nothing But Nets champion Nate Stafford visited Capitol Hill and engaged a distinguished crowd, including ambassadors, Congressional staff and members of Congress, about the importance of funding for malaria prevention programs like the ones above.
- Members of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative attended a Capitol Hill Day, where they spoke to several members of Congress and their staffs about the importance of U.S.-funded malaria prevention and treatment programs and the work of UN agencies in defeating malaria.
Further educate your members of Congress on the issue, getting them more invested in the fight against malaria and helping them to understand why U.S. leadership and support is so important;
- American University student Bella Merritt attended three meetings on Capitol Hill with her members of Congress from her home state of Washington. Bella also took her friend Rachel to meet with Rachel’s representative in the U.S. House. In each of the meetings, Bella educated staff about the issue of malaria and why Congressional support for malaria prevention is so crucial.
Encourage them to take a leadership role by joining the House and Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Caucus, a bipartisan group working to increase support within Congress to defeat malaria.
- Emily Rothstein from Wisconsin met with her Congressman Mark Pocan and brought her friends along for support. Emily’s group helped to increase Congressman Pocan’s awareness of the issue of malaria and the important work of the House Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Caucus in the fight against this deadly disease.
Because of the efforts of champions like these, Congress has continued to maintain strong, bipartisan support for malaria programs like the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – funding these programs at over $2 billion last year alone.
Your voice is powerful—take advocacy action for Nothing But Nets today! Contact Dan Skallman for more information on advocacy opportunities in your state or district.