Thursday, April 26, 2007

Malaria Awareness, American Idol, and Sanjaya

No, that picture isn't the latest from Dancing With the Stars, its a picture from the White House Lawn where Malaria Awareness Day took place several hours before American Idol's TV program on poverty in Africa. If you saw Idol tonight (far better than last night's show, as tonight Sanjaya showed up in the audience) perhaps you were convinced every dollar makes a difference in fighting disease in Africa.

Rather than giving through the American Idol initiative, I've chosen to target my money directly to combat malaria. Every 30 seconds, a child dies in Africa from malaria, which is reckoned to be even a worse problem than AIDS. Nothing But Nets, one of the charities featured on American Idol, provides bednets to impoverished Sub-Sarahan Africans as well as educating the family on how to properly use the bed net to prevent Malaria by keeping out mosquitos who spread the disease. (You probably think of bednets as mosquito nets.) Donating directly to this charity has the benefit that every dollar you give is matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since I figure that high its time that Bill Gates gave back a little to me, I'm donating to Nothing but Nets directly on the charity's website.

If you are generally a little suspicious on how much of your charitable dollar goes to highly paid non-profit executives and mailing you more appeals for more money, there is comfort in the fact that 100% of your donation goes directly to providing bednets to Africa. What's more, a contribution of just ten dollars takes care of one family, so get out your credit card and do the right thing!

When you're done making your contribution, do see this wacky Video of President Bush and the African drummers (the still from the video is above). If you want further information about malaria, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has excellent information, as does the Rollback Malaria Partnership.


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