As part of our malaria blog series, Roz Hunt, Media & Communications Manager at Malaria No More UK, discusses an exciting partnership and how you can share your story.
One of our priorities at Malaria No More UK is to make malaria an issue that people that know and care about. To do this we use real life stories on malaria to show the human impact of this preventable disease. Malaria claims the life of a child every 45 seconds; Over 90% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa and it costs the African economy some £8 billion a year in lost productivity. We’d love you to be moved and inspired to act by these numbers but let’s face it numbers by themselves can be rather dry. This is why we’re always looking out for and using personal stories on malaria.
Personal stories are a feature in the 1.4 Billion Reasons University Tour we are currently doing with the Global Poverty Project. We hope as you read this you’ll be encouraged to share your story with us. For example here’s a recent story thanks to Elisha London, UK Country Director of the Global Poverty Project. Elisha contracted malaria in Uganda in 2006, then 2008 and then suffered again with a relapses in 2009 and 2011. Read Elisha’s blog here. 1.4 Billion Reasons tour is a powerful illustration of how the detail of someone’s life can speak to a bigger issue and the positive change we can all be a part of.
To raise awareness and funds we also explore and create new angles to link malaria with everyday life in the UK. These include weaving malaria into themes of popular culture, such as sport, fashion, world music and entertainment. A key project for us right now is the mass awareness and fundraising partnership we have with ITV’s I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!
I’m A Celebrity returned to TV screens last Sunday. It’s the third year that Malaria No More UK is the beneficiary charity, with 15p from every phone vote being donated to help save lives in Ghana, where the whole population is at risk of malaria. Funds raised from this year’s show will build on support from previous years, which helped deliver of 2.5 million mosquito nets to protect up to five million people from malaria. This year, our partnership is supporting Ghana’s goal to ensure that its entire population of 24 million has access to mosquito nets by the end of 2012.
Last week, Sarah Kline, our Executive Director, and I had an early morning start and Q&A session with this year’s celebrity contestants in a secret location in Australia, hours before they left for jungle! It was fascinating and encouraging to hear their ideas on how they want to support our work and they shared their own stories on malaria. Some of the contestants have suffered from the disease and others have seen its impact through living and travelling in Africa. Several celebrities also offered ingenious ideas to prevent bites! We’ll be sharing their stories in the next three weeks - watch this space!
We hope as you hear their accounts, you’ll be inspired to share any stories you may have on malaria or you might decide to support us in another way, be it skydiving like a celebrity to raise funds or attending a 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation we’d love you to get involved!