Three years ago, I joined the Nothing But Nets team to plan our City Tours and help spread the buzz about the movement to end malaria across the country. I was on the job just two weeks when I was asked to put together a week of events in Philadelphia. After our first City Tour, meeting with our partners, the best steak and cheese I’ve ever had, and a missed train (little did I know, this would be the first of many) — I was hooked.
From the moment I started, I was in awe of the campaign and what it’s accomplished. As we traveled the country, I developed an even greater admiration of our supporters and partners. I met very young supporters who felt tackling malaria was as reasonable to take on as biking down the street. I met athletes who were as passionate about solving malaria as they were competing on the field. I met faith-based partners who saw this opportunity as part of their everyday mantra, “those who can, do.” In every city we went to, I was touched by so many people who gave selflessly to others in need across the world.
In 2010, I took my first trip to help distribute bed nets in the Central African Republic — I’ll never forget that experience and the people I met. Our partners on the ground in the Central African Republic — UNICEF, Mentor, and PSI — work tirelessly to make sure the nets our supporters work so hard to send reach the families who need them most. The mothers I met want nothing more than protection for their children, and their children just want to be healthy enough to play with their friends — just like those kids I met on our City Tours back in the U.S.
I’ve held many different roles for the campaign and am so lucky to be able to work with everyone from partners here in the U.S. to community health workers in Africa, thanks to the UN Foundation. I’m proud of what we have all been able to accomplish together in the past five years. I can’t to see what we can accomplish in the next five years! With so many exciting new opportunities and our passionate, dedicated partners and supporters, I know we can achieve the global goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015.