Today, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign announced The Million Nets Pledge, a new two-year commitment to protect refugee families from malaria with one million bednets by 2016. This ambitious $10 million pledge focuses on their increased work with UN partners to protect children, refugees, and families displaced by conflict in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria.
Today’s announcement came from the campaign’s special launch event in New York, which featured special remarks from several of the campaign’s partners and supporters who made their own commitments toward The Million Nets Pledge.
Lieutenant Commander Dr. Andy Baldwin, an ironman triathlete, humanitarian, US Naval Officer and physician, and star of ABC’s hit show, “The Bachelor,” has pledged his commitment through a running challenge between himself and Nothing But Nets Director Chris Helfrich. From April 1 through April 25, World Malaria Day, each will run “Miles for Malaria,” donating $1 for each of the other’s total miles tally. The loser has to buzz his hair.
“I’m running in memory of the hundreds of thousands of children who have died before their 5th birthday because of malaria,” said Baldwin. “Anyone can help Nothing But Nets protect families from malaria.”
Malaria is a deadly disease, transmitted by a single mosquito bite. Malaria kills a child every 60 seconds and it is a leading killer of refugees in Africa. But long-lasting, insecticide-treated bednets provide a simple, cost-effective solution that can stop the spread of malaria and save lives. Nothing But Nets and its UN partners, including The UN Refugee Agency and UNICEF, deliver these nets to families where they’re needed most.
“There has been a large surge in refugee families displaced by conflict in several countries across Africa,” said Nothing But Nets Director Chris Helfrich. “After all they have endured and survived, these families should not have to fear dying from a mosquito bite.”
Many representatives from the sports community were also on hand for the landmark announcement. Founding partners The NBA and MLS WORKS were in attendance, as well as new partner the Whistle Sports Network, and tennis professional Vania King who represented Athletes for Hope. This month, King, along with professional athletes including Steve Blake and Kristen Hildebrand, announced their commitments to Nothing But Nets and The Million Nets Pledge.
Whether a Boy Scout who hiked 100 miles, or 9-year-old who swam across the San Francisco Bay, hundreds of thousands of supporters and partners worldwide have done amazing things to raise awareness and funds to help Nothing But Nets send nets and save lives. Junior Chamber International (JCI) has rallied its 200,000 members worldwide to help Nothing But Nets send hundreds of thousands of nets. Opera singer Simon Estes and his Foundation have contributed $200,000 to the campaign and mobilized students across the state of Iowa to get involved in the fight against malaria.
Golden State Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry continues his Three for Three Challenge, donating three nets for every three-pointer he makes during the NBA season. The Warriors will match his challenge up to $5,000. Just last week, Curry broke his own NBA record for three-pointers in a single season and currently has 284.
Anyone from students to CEOs can join The Million Nets Pledge and help to send one million nets to protect refugee families from malaria. Go to www.NothingButNets.net/MillionNetsPledge to take the pledge and help save lives.
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Rachel Henderson, Nothing But Nets
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Since then, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $56 million to help deliver more than nine million bednets to families in need. Campaign partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, Junior Chamber International, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. It costs $10 to purchase and deliver an insecticide-treated bednet, provide education on its proper use, and provide other malaria reduction interventions that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.