“If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation.” – Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey
Girls around the world need to stay healthy from illness such as malaria so that they can stay in school and complete their education! It’s the International Day of the Girl and for the past 11 days, our friends at Girl Up have been counting down with “11 Days of Action.” From donating a photo so a girl in Liberia can go back to school, to recording videos on Instagram or Vine in celebration of girls, there have been 11 different actions to help girls everywhere reach their full potential.
In honor of the International Day of the Girl, we are highlighting a few of our girl champions who are working to make sure that other girls around the world do not get malaria and hence can be the best that they can be.
“There is no gift that someone can buy for me that is more valuable than someone’s life.”
On her seventh birthday, Naomi Kodama decided that instead of receiving presents, she wanted family and friends to “donate her birthday.” Since then, 15-year-old Naomi, a member of Nothing But Nets’ partner Junior Chamber International, has donated her birthday every year to Nothing But Nets. Naomi was featured in the Nothing But Nets Champions to End Malaria photo exhibit in 2011. Most recently, she spoke at the 2013 Social Good Summit, envisioning “A World without Malaria.” Naomi challenged people to donate just $10 to send a bed net and save a life.
“I did a presentation on Nothing But Nets and got over 200 teens to fill out Action Alert cards to show Congress we care about malaria.”
Olivia is the current Social Action Vice President (SAVP) for the North American Federation of Temple Youth Mid-Atlantic Region (NFTY-MAR). She learned about the campaign through our partners at the Union for Reform Judaism and has chosen malaria as the topic for her action month because she believes it is a disease that is not talked about in North America since it’s not prevalent here. Her goals for the month include, raising awareness and educating people on malaria, showing how critical it is that U.S. citizens to do something to help, and empowering NFTY members and supporters to act on the issue and make a change- both through advocacy and direct action.
“Swim a lap to save a life.”
Elisabeth started a “SWAT” team with the youth at her church and Nothing But Nets partner, the United Methodist Church, to raise funds to send bed nets to families in need across Sub-Saharan Africa. She also hosts a yearly swim-a-thon that encourages the swimmers at her local pool’s swim team to “swim a lap and save a life.” The 2011 swim-a-thon raised nearly $5000, sending almost 500 life-saving nets.
This International Day of the Girl, support our friends at Girl Up by urging your member of Congress to support the Girls Count Act. It’s the eleventh action in the 11 Days of Action series. Thank you for supporting girls!