Seven teen volunteers represented NETwork Against Malaria at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) held in Indianapolis on November 19-22, 2015. Over 24,000 high school students attended NCYC. They came from all over the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. Our NETwork Against Malaria teens shared with these peers the deadly impact of malaria by distributing 20,000 thousand of pieces of information about malaria to conference goers. They spoke to their peers about malaria and its deadly impact on the lives of students and children in Uganda. NETwork teen volunteers were touched to see the heartfelt reaction of the conference-goers when they learned that one child dies of malaria every five minutes in Uganda. Ugandan students often miss 60 days of school sick with malaria. In Uganda, a student is required to pass an end of the year competency exam in order to go onto the next grade. Malaria, if survived, keeps many students from passing onto the next grade. In the case of girls, impoverished parents often do not want to pay the school fees for girls to repeat the same grade. Girls are often forced to drop out of school and relegated to a life of poverty.
NETwork Against Malaria volunteers also sold jewelry and up-cycled items at their booth at NCYC to raise money to buy enough malaria nets to protect one school in Uganda. Before attending NCYC, teen volunteers worked for months to make beanies, mittens and leg warmers from recycled donated sweaters. They tye-dyed 300 t-shirts and hand painted NETwork Against Malaria’s logo on each t-shirt and 250 sweat shirts. Other items like bracelets, necklaces, earrings, bookmarks, rings, wire crosses and rosaries were some of the thousands items made by NETwork Against Malaria chapters across the United States. All these items were sold to purchase malaria nets for the students in Uganda.
NCYC was a great success. For three days these seven students shared the message of how malaria kills millions, prevents students from going to school to learn and how one single malaria net costing $5.00 can (given to a student who shares the net with two siblings), can protect the lives of three children for 10 years. Our NETwork teen volunteers inspired thousands of their peers to get involved and reach out to students in Uganda. These teen volunteers raised over $9,000 and inspired the beginning of several new chapters. Such giving of themselves and devotion to a cause is an exemplary example for all.
Thank you again for your generosity. We could not have done it without you.
Victor is an exchange student from Nigeria. He worked tirelessly on Monday evenings for four months to create fine up-cycled items sold at NCYC. Victor learned to cut with a scissors and to run an electric sewing machine. He has had malaria 3 times himself. While Victor was working to save the lives of Ugandan students from malaria his college-age sister became ill with malaria when she accidently left her malaria net at home. She spent two weeks in the hospital and is now doing well. Victor says he sleeps under a malaria net every night when at home. Victor said of his volunteering with NETwork Against Malaria, "If I can help save one child from getting malaria, I will be happy."
Update from Uganda
After our most recent net distribution in Uganda, NETwork Against Malaria was featured by the national newspaper, New Vision,
as well as the national news station, NBS.
Feel free to watch and see the view of NETwork from the Ugandan perspective.
Electrokaplosion-fighting malaria with music
Benjamin Bousquet is the musician behind Electrokaplosion. He writes and produces all of his own music. He describes himself as, “Just a lonely Spaceman making music on the moon.”
Ben also has decided that 100% of all proceeds made by his new album "Expanding Horizons" will be donated to NETwork Against Malaria. Be sure to check it out now on Bandcamp!
Several dedicated students across the country are in the process of expanding the efforts of NETwork to new universities including:
- Alice Steffl, Allison Renken at University of North Dakota
- Jimmy Qian at Penn
- Kalian Shi, Caroline Zhu, Caroline Lee, Charis Wang, Kiujoy Kokko, Alvin Sheng at Rice
- Sanika Sherry, Divya Navi, Anna Hoiberg, Annie Johnson, Simran Aulakh, Tom Berta, Laurel Smeins, Ryan Smith at Iowa State
- Valenza Stearns at Seton Hall