I can tell by the red bumps on my legs that it’s that time
of year again: mosquito season. For me, like most Americans, a mosquito bite is little
more than an itchy nuisance. But in some
areas of the world, mosquitoes pose far more dangerous risks. Malaria, a life-threatening, infectious
disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is widespread in Asia, parts of the Americas, and Africa. Over one million people die of malaria every
year – most are young children from sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is preventable and treatable, but in
many regions of Africa there are insufficient
resources to fight back.
The United Nations Foundation, a member of the MWW
Coalition, recognized the severity of this public health issue and created the Nothing But Nets (NBN) campaign. NBN aims to eradicate malaria by providing insecticide-treated
bed nets to families in the areas most affected by the disease. So far, NBN has made significant progress by
raising awareness and facilitating action in communities across the U.S.
Partners like the NBA Cares (also a MWW Coalition
member!), MLS Works,
and the United
Methodist Church help to expand its reach. Over the past two years, hundreds of thousands of people have become involved,
to the tune of $20 million. So far bed
nets have been distributed in seven
African countries, to more than 700,000 families. Ten dollars is all it takes to purchase a bed
net, send it to Africa, and educate a family
about its use.
Have you ever taken part in a Nothing But Nets event, or
contributed to the cause? Do you plan on
doing so in the future? What do you
think about the campaign?
Tell us: What is your favorite initiative that is making a
difference on a global issue?
3 thoughts on “In this case, it’s good to be a buzz kill.”
Nothing But Nets is a great program. I first heard of it two years back in the following column by Rick Reilly of SI:
There are two websites I visit that increase knowledge about the world and help people in need. The first is http://www.thehungersite.com/ . The Hunger Site, along with its sister sites help the poor while costing nothing but a few seconds.
The other site is http://www.care2.com/ . This site allows for activism on numerous issues, including those for sustainability. Like the Hunger Site, Care 2 has a donation area which costs a click. Among other areas, you can reduce a pound of carbon output per day; help save tropical rainforests, the American prairie, or marine wetlands; feed our wild cousins; and help reduce environmental causes of breast cancer.
The Hunger Sites stable shows what everyone who has clicked has done in a day, month, or year. Care 2 tracks an individual’s contributions. You can be a puffer fish and a Siamese mix at the same time!
Nothing but Nets is such a great program – low cost, low tech, and very effective. I’ve donated to it through the United Methodist Church and have encouraged my students to contribute. Freerice.com is another favorite initiative: increases your vocabulary, gets the competitive juices flowing, and contributes rice to the hungry in underdeveloped nations. Do good while having fun!