Ray Chambers Joins Where's The Net?
Ray Chambers, the UN Special Envoy for Malaria has joined Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation’s worldwide campaign: “Where’s the Net?”. Since February, a symbolic anti-malaria net has been travelling in a relay between people of different faiths across the world to raise awareness about malaria prevention. Despite being entirely preventable, malaria still kills 750, 000 people each year.
The net began its journey in Sierra Leone, where a third of children who die under the age of five are killed by malaria. Since then it has travelled to almost 20 countries including: the USA, Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines, and the UK spreading vital messages about malaria prevention.
The campaign has been embraced by people from all walks of life and different faith backgrounds; students, teachers, MPs, Health Ministers, the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Tony Blair and most recently UN Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers. All of their events are highlighted in an online journal and they range from malaria education lessons in Uganda to street plays about malaria by school children in India, plus many more.
The symbolic net was presented to Ray Chambers at his UN office this week by local faith leaders from the New York area: Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center, representatives from UNITED SIKHS, the Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Dialogue, the Interfaith Center of New York and young interfaith leaders working for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
Ray wrote a personal commitment to the campaign which he hand-tied onto the net alongside the hundreds of other pledges from the volunteers around the world. He commended the faith communities involved for their work to help make the UN’s goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015 a reality.
“Remember that malaria is a “natural disaster” that is devastating communities every second of every day. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes can never be stopped. Malaria can be. What faith communities have working in their favor are networks and the infrastructure to deliver key health messages. We are witnessing malaria act as a peacemaker between people of different faiths as they recognise this disease is taking their children equally. “Where’s the Net?” is a campaign which brings people of all faiths together and represents global connectivity around a common cause. Now is no time for indifference.”
As well as the UN building, the net has travelled to other iconic destinations including; the Lotus temple in New Delhi, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, The White House in D.C., Big Ben in London and The Cotton Tree in Freetown. Next week a rock concert is being organised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Where’s the Net? is making a real noise about malaria the world over – in malaria and non malaria endemic countries alike - giving people the opportunity to learn more about the disease, but most importantly the opportunity to find out what can they can do to end it.
Progress has been made in this battle: since 2000 global malaria deaths have been reduced by more than 26% (source: Malaria No More UK) but with just three years to go before the UN’s target of zero deaths from malaria there is a real need to maintain this momentum.
Join people of other faiths from around the world and support this life changing work. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and for every 10 new people following our social media threads, Sumitomo Chemical will donate a mosquito net to Malaria No More UK to help prevent malaria.