Nothing But Nets Blog
Embarking on their last year at Springhill Elementary in Lafayette, CA, seven classmates from Troop 33005 met to discuss their Girl Scout Bronze Award. With the community in mind, the girls individually presented their ideas for this project to the troop. These ideas ranged from helping both children and adults with disabilities, to those in need, to various ways to help animals. But one particular presentation seemed to touch the girls’ hearts - learning about and potentially helping to stop the spread of malaria in places like Africa.
It’s World Mosquito Day! On this day in 1897, British scientist Sir Ronald Ross made the breakthrough discovery that malaria is transmitted between humans by the female anopheles mosquito. More than 100 years later, we are still working to find a cure for this deadly disease.
Tonight, more than 68,000 people in Western Tanzania are sleeping safely under bed nets for the first time in many years, protected from malaria. The story of how we distributed 38,000 nets to the people of Nyarugusu refugee camp, a place that had over 62,000 documented cases of malaria last year, begins with you.
When I think of the United Nations, the first images in my mind are often the iconic UN headquarters building in New York, or news photos of heads of state speaking in the General Assembly Hall, or delegates listening intently to translations of speakers from other nations.
By now you may have heard the mind-boggling malaria statistics in Tanzania’s Nyarugusu refugee camp where we are currently distributing bed nets. Last year, there were 62,000 reported cases of malaria in a camp with 68,000 people, and that the camp had not received any nets in the last four years. Kids have been dying here every week from this preventable disease.
We did it! With help from sports columnist Rick Reilly, NBA star Stephen Curry, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and amazing supporters like you, we were able to distribute more than 38,000 bed nets to the residents of the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp. Listen as Rick Reilly sums up his experiences in this inspiring video diary.
The Nyarugusu Refugee Camp has a bad malaria problem. Last year, there were more than 62,000 documented cases of malaria - that's a lot in a camp of 68,000 people! Until now, bed nets haven't been delivered to Nyarugusu since 2009. Check out what Director of the Nothing But Nets campaign Chris Helfrich had to say about how you have helped make it possible for us to deliver life-saving bed nets to EVERY familiy living in the camp.
Special delivery! Stephen Curry talks about Day 1 at the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Tanzania where he just distributed life-saving bed nets with sports columnist Rick Reilly and Nothing But Nets. Listen to what he had to say about this eye opening experience.
Each time bed nets are distributed to communities in Africa to protect children and families from malaria, new stories are made. Each of those stories is a reminder of tens of thousands of supporters have been part of Nothing But Nets for seven years.
As a father of two young boys, I look forward to life’s milestones. First steps, first words, first day of school – I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world. Unfortunately, not all parents get the chance to celebrate such important milestones in their children’s lives.
A few years ago, I traveled to Nigeria with Nothing But Nets. I visited communities that had already received anti-malaria bed nets from Nothing But Nets campaign supporters like you. But I also met families that are still in need. The difference was like night and day.
Summer’s here and there is no better time to go on a road trip. That is what our friends from the United States Junior Chamber have been doing – journeying across the country to spread awareness about malaria. JCI USA President Chrystal Ramsay-Dyess and her family are traveling city to city to tell others how they can join Nothing But Nets and help women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa fight malaria.
Think for a second about the words “Congress” and “California rock band.” I bet you’re picturing beards, guitars, suits and a tour bus. Well, that’s pretty close to what actually happened two weeks ago.
Last weekend, Nothing But Nets went to North Carolina to join our partners at Summit Coffee for another grassroots event! Brian and Tim Helfrich, owners of Summit Coffee have hosted a running event to benefit Nothing But Nets for 2 years. We were pleased to join them for this year’s Summit Solstice 4-mile Obstacle Challenge.
Thank you! Because of you, we reached our goal of sending 5,000 messages to Congress in support of important work to fight malaria. The United States has been a long-time leader in fighting malaria and helping families around the world stay healthy. If we’re going to end malaria in this generation, we need Congress to ensure it stays that way, and your voice can make that happen.
Because of the generosity of so many of our caring supporters, we were able to exceed our ambitious World Malaria Day 20,000 net goal. But what this really means is that more than 40,000 vulnerable children will now be protected from deadly malaria.
As Director of Nothing But Nets, I get to meet a lot of inspiring Americans doing amazing things to save lives by sending $10 nets to prevent malaria, a disease that still kills a child in Africa every 60 seconds. I've met a 13-year old Boy Scout who hiked 100 miles to raise money and awareness, an 8-year old who became the youngest girl to ever swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco in order to raise money to send hundreds of nets, and a fashion designer who has created a line of net-inspired accessories to send nets and save lives.
Motherhood - from start to finish - is miraculous. For me, being a mom (I have a 2 1/2 year old and one on the way) is incredibly joyful, humbling, empowering, tiring and... frightening. Frightening because I - like all moms and dads - love and cherish my son and daughter-to-be so greatly and the reality is that I have limited control over their health, happiness and future.
You did it! You helped send 20,525 life-saving bed nets to families across sub-Saharan Africa in honor of World Malaria Day. And just like I asked, you made me give until it hurt by meeting my matching gift challenge. Ponying up the full $20,000 is the best hit my wallet's ever taken.
Malaria is preventable, treatable and curable. Yet it continues to have a devastating impact across Africa. For more than a decade, ExxonMobil has been working to help drive lasting change and build a better future for communities in the region by investing in the fight against malaria.