Nothing But Nets Blog
After sixty days of travel, hard work and anticipation, our day on Capitol Hill was finally here. It was the culmination of weeks spent journeying across the country as part of the JCI-Nothing But Nets BzzzTour. Over the last few months, we visited 16 states, held more than 40 in-district meetings in communities around the country and organized 88 JCI chapter meetings. These events were all aimed at fundraising, awareness building and advocacy on behalf of Nothing But Nets and the fight against malaria
Today is the first ever International Day of Charity. Last December, the UN General Assembly designated this day to raise awareness of the impact millions of people like you have had through humanitarian work around the world.
Meet 14 year -old high school freshman Mei Mei Tercek. So far, Mei Mei has raised enough to send more than 40 life-saving bed nets to families across Sub-Saharan Africa. How did she do it? She founded a local charity “Bottles for Nets” in her community in Los Angeles. Every Wednesday at 5:30 in the afternoon, Mei Mei and four of her friends collect all the recyclable materials from homes, sort them out at a recycling center where they earn 5 cents for each bottle and donate the proceeds to Nothing But Nets.
Bed nets save lives and can help eliminate malaria. I had the opportunity to see this first hand at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria board meeting in Sri Lanka in June. The Government of Sri Lanka, with support from the Global Fund, has shown tremendous success controlling malaria with bed nets, along with indoor spraying, diagnosis and treatment, and disease tracking.
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.