2,000 children die from malaria every day. That’s 83 children every hour. With every minute that passes, another child or two dies. Would you believe me if I said it’s possible to end all malaria deaths by the year 2015?
By getting involved and mobilizing the people around us, we can save millions of lives. Act:s to End Malaria has put together an incredible toolkit to help each of us become involved in eradicating malaria worldwide.
You might be thinking,
I’m just one person. There’s no way I can mobilize enough people to make a difference.
Here are four ways you can raise awareness, generate excitement, and create a movement in your community:
- Raise awareness
You know that big open space your church never uses? Or what about that empty building next to the cute coffee shop down the street? Oh, and don’t forget that open lounge in your office. You know, the one that gets lots of foot traffic but doesn’t have much purpose? Use your creativity to transform open space into a visual representation.
Turn it into an art gallery featuring local artwork showing what life would be like without malaria. Or gather materials and create separate spaces representing the before (now) and after (2015). Fill the walls with images, quotes, statistics, and information about how people can make a difference. Make sure you get permission from the space’s owner!
- Raise funds to provide life-saving bed nets
Know a local musician? Host a concert, charge a modest admission, and use all the proceeds to buy treated bed nets. For every $6 raised, 2 children can be saved.
Have a weekly Friday night out? Instead of going to dinner and a movie, invite people over for home-cooked dinner and a game night. Collect the money you’d usually spend and use it to buy bed nets. With just $60.00, you can save 20 lives. If you do it once a month, that’s 240 lives each year!
Need a youth group bonding experience? Host a Valentine’s bake sale! Instead of using the money raised for youth group activities, buy bed nets! For every $3 worth of goodies sold, one life is saved.
- Use your voice
Host a letter-writing party and send letters to your elected representatives. Make your letters memorable by including artwork and stories.
Not sure who your elected officials are? You can search for them here.
- Mobilize others
Ending malaria won’t happen unless we get others involved. Design a t-shirt, print posters, pass out bookmarks, collect signatures, send postcards, share stories. Ask each person to share the message with two others. The more people involved, the more lives we can save.
With a little commitment and creativity, we can see the end of malaria during our lifetime.
Will you help?
Thanks for this post Crystal! Far too often we think that global problems are far too big for us to solve, so why bother? When you start to examine things like malaria, hunger or AIDS, it can be really overwhelming. But God calls us to act – to speak up for those that can’t and lend a hand where ever we can. Thank you for not only raising awareness about this issue, but also breaking down the simple step of how we can do something to help. It reminds me of my favorite Margaret Mead quote: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
I love that quote Kate! I just used it in a staff meeting this past week. As we sat down to really think about what it would look like to end malaria, we realized that if every person in the United States gave a 1/10 of a cent a year for the next 5 years, we could raise all the money needed. It seems totally doable when you break it down like that!