so I can say I TRIed
so I can say I TRIed

Why Against Malaria?

charlieeliseby charlieeliseJul 1st 2011
Through a programme run by David Compton, geography teacher at my secondary school, when I was 13 I went to The Gambia. I went at that young age because I was best friends with his son and a few of us went along with some older students, teachers and medical staff. The school had a relationship with a school in a rural village, Kerewan Samba Sira.

That trip we repainted the school various shades of pink and set up a doctors surgery. We made bricks and built new buildings. And I visited a hospital with one of our sponsored young people. She was suffering from a reoccurrence of malaria. The doctor showed me the yellow jaundiced eyes of people who had caught malaria. I saw people in pain, abandoned premature orphan babies too weak to live and a system which was failing people. Expensive drugs, unprevented disease, dirty water and poverty.

No amount of pink paint can change that and I realised there's more to this giving game than appears on the surface.

We slept under malaria nets and took anti- malarial medication. We didn't catch malaria. But we are privileged.

By the time you've read down to this sentence, four people have died from malaria, an entirely preventable disease, which in my opinion would have been wiped out years ago if it had mostly affected western countries.

When I started going to masters swimming sessions I bought something from Speedo. Probably a pair of rubbish goggles but that doesn't matter. They included a flyer and rubber bracelet advertising their World Swim Against Malaria. Well, actually it said World Swim for Malaria. But I think they got the idea. So I signed up and logged my distance. I've clocked up quite a few miles. The charity the swim supports is Against Malaria, a group who spend nothing on marketing or fundraising. Which is probably why you haven't heard of them.

Run entirely by volunteers and backed by a group of philantrophists in London, they buy nets and send them to where they are most needed. They focus on providing children and pregnant women with nets impregnated with anti-mosquito coating.

It's estimated that on average each net lasts four years, and that two children sleep under each net. Each net costs £3. Statistically, if they can get 20 nets out and they get used for the average time by the average amount of children, they save a life.

That means that every time we raise £60 we save a child's life. All the money you give to Against Malaria goes to buy nets. It's that simple. Nets are the best way of preventing malaria.

Against Malaria is one of nine charities recommended for their transparent accounting and low admin costs. Out of all the charities I could support, this one is one I really feel makes a difference. When you donate you can see where your nets go - my last donation gave nets to children in Sierra Leone.

One net is £3. I urge you, throw a few pounds the way of my sponsorship page. Buy a net, or three, or twenty if you can afford it. We're saving lives.

If you sponsor me I promise not to inflict too many pictures of me in Lycra on you after the event. Unless you want to see them if course, in which case sponsoring is mandatory. And if you want to watch, on 24 July you can come to Caldicot, but you have to buy a net to do that....

Thanks for reading.
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