On July 15-17th, Buzzcuts competition winners came to Washington D.C. for the first annual Buzzcuts retreat. Coming in from across the country, participants represented Allegheny College, Boston College, DePauw University, Harvard University, Middlebury College, Northwestern University, University of Nebraska Medical College, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, Wells College, Wesleyan, and West Virginia University. During this three day event, students had the opportunity to look deeper into the malaria epidemic through various discussions and collaborate on ideas about how to engage campuses into their winning Buzz Cuts’ campaigns. This retreat came at a crucial time- while in Washington D.C., students learned that refugees in Chad, fleeing from Darfur, are in dire need of the nets due to the rainy season. At this point, if the bed nets are not purchased, 25% of over 200,000 internationally displaced people will die of malaria.
Buzz Cuts winners reported to the United Nations Foundation offices early in the morning to begin the first day’s program. First, they attended a very detailed presentation given by leading malaria expert, Dr. Joel Breman. He provided a number of eye-opening statistics about malaria, and explained the disease’s effects on the economy, as well as its sociological, environmental, and educational impact on developing countries.
Soon after Dr. Breman’s presentation, the students met with representatives from the Nothing But Nets campaign and learned about the campaign’s background in deep detail. Students also met with representatives from The People Speak and Americans for Informed Democracy to learn more about the importance of engaging and activating the energy of young adults and how they can share their ideas with other young minds.
To conclude the retreat, students had the opportunity to meet with Senator Nelson from Nebraska and Senator Salazar from Colorado. On Capitol Hill, the students were able to share their campaign proposals and introduce the Senators to the Nothing But Nets campaign. Concluding the Buzz Cut Retreat with these two Senators was motivating and the students are ready to begin their campaigns and engage their college campuses! Stay tuned for more updates about the Buzz Cuts campaigns hitting college campuses nation-wide.