It is thrilling to be in Seoul, Korea with all of the excitement leading up to the G20 Summit this week — but you don’t need to be a world leader to make a difference. While G20 country leaders meet this week in Seoul to discuss the role of governments to address our global challenges, I had the honor of joining the UN Foundation’s Nets Go! campaign at the Korean National Assembly (Korea’s Congress) to discuss how each of us has the ability to address MDG 6, which includes fighting malaria.
The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals outlined by the United Nations with the aim of ending poverty around the world by 2015. As you can imagine, ending poverty is a tremendous undertaking, so some goals are further along than others. One very tangible way we can all help achieve the MDGs is by fighting malaria. At the National Assembly we heard from congressional representatives, university presidents, bishops, internet companies, and pharmaceutical associations about how each is doing their part support the global goal to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.
Korean students also stood up and shared their personal stories of inviting their communities to send nets and save lives. It was personally inspiring to hear their experiences.
I was in Seoul in August for the kick-off event for the Nets Go! campaign, when these students were first introduced to malaria and how they could help. So today, when I heard students’ stories of selling cotton candy, organizing flea markets, and negotiating free advertisement space in their local newspapers to raise awareness and funds for life-saving bed nets, I was impressed and extremely moved by their dedication.
We can only reach these goals by working together — and seeing these diverse groups come together in the movement to end malaria shows me that we’re well on our way.