Nothing But Nets – a grassroots campaign to prevent malaria – announced today, on the first-ever National Malaria Awareness Day, that it will hold events in twelve cities over the next year to raise awareness and money to prevent malaria in Africa. Over the next twelve months, Nothing But Nets partners – including the United Nations Foundation, The People of The United Methodist Church, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. – will work together to host major events with business, faith, student, and athletic communities in cities across the United States including Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Washington DC, culminating in New York City on Africa Malaria Day 2008.
The Nothing But Nets multi-city grassroots initiative to engage Americans across the country in the fight against malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa, kicks off today in South Florida with events in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Today’s events include: a prayer breakfast with faith leaders at Christ Church United Methodist in Ft. Lauderdale, a business luncheon co-hosted by Miami business leader, Mark Gordon and Miami Heat forward Jason Kapono; and a Nothing But Nets Malaria Boot Camp at the University of Miami where more than 200 local high school and university students will gather to learn about malaria from health experts and learn how to work with their communities to prevent malaria by getting involved in Nothing But Nets.
“What better way to commemorate this first-ever Malaria Awareness Day in the United States than by bringing communities together to raise awareness and make a difference,” said Kathy Bushkin Calvin, Executive Vice President of the UN Foundation, the founder of Nothing But Nets. “We will take the enthusiasm and support that we’ve found in Miami and bring that across other cities in America. Together we can all help save lives in Africa. Preventing malaria is as easy as sending a net. ”
In a ceremony at the White House today, President George W. Bush declared April 25, recognized worldwide as Africa Malaria Day, as national Malaria Awareness Day for the first time in the United States. In addition to the event at the White House, Congress and individuals across the country are holding events to commemorate this day.
Hundreds of Nothing But Nets supporters will attend Nothing But Nets American Idol “Idol Gives Back” watch parties in their homes, churches, and schools. Miami Heat’s Jason Kapono joined students and community members at the University of Miami for a watch party. Nothing But Nets is one of eight charities benefiting from ”Idol Gives Back” – airing tonight on FOX Television – which will help raise awareness and funds for children living in extreme poverty in Africa and America. To view photos and highlights of these parties, visit www.NothingButNets.net.
While malaria has been eliminated in the United States, it still kills one million people each year especially children. Yet, there is an easy, affordable way to prevent the deadly disease – sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets stops mosquitoes from biting. A $10 donation to Nothing But Nets provides a net and educates an African family on its use. Since the Campaign was created less than a year ago, Nothing But Nets has engaged nearly 50,000 people in a discussion about malaria and delivered more than $5 million to put nets over the beds of families throughout Africa. And The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches donations dollar for dollar. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
United Nations Foundation, Communications Officer
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