Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Fundraiser to Stamp Out Malaria

Amy Foust and Natasha Moharter
Remember that scare about the West Nile virus in 2003? We became aware in the United States about the health hazards associated with mosquitoes.

Now that the emergency has passed, do you think much about mosquitoes? Sure, these critters can be a nuisance during the summer, especially if we live in a humid climate or near a body of water. But for the most part, our concerns turn to subjects other than mosquitoes.

In other parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, mosquitoes can pose a serious and sometimes deadly health hazard.

They carry malaria. (In fact the problem is so serious  that the countries of the world decided to dedicate Goal 6 of the eight Millennium Development Goals to eradicating malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases).
A group of students at the University of New Mexico is serious about combating malaria.  They have formed a chapter of Stamp Out Malaria through Project PeacePal. The campaign was created to raise awareness and funds to supply bed nets for people in West Africa, specifically Togo and Ghana. 
Growing concerns involving West Africa’s exposure to malaria prompted U.S. students to step forward and protect PeacePal communities with life saving mosquito nets, and what started as a dream a year ago blossomed into a life-changing service project.

Today, we have 3,600 nets waiting for a home. In only a few short weeks, these nets will be shipped and delivered to the bustling city of Tamale, Ghana where 1800 of them will be strategically placed in a nearby village. The remaining will be transported to northern Togo where a cluster of 10 villages awaits.
The UNM student group invites you to learn more about their project and to help with their efforts.  They have planned a special event a week from today.

You Are Invited to a FundRaiser
Saturday, April 23, 6:00-9:00 p..m.
UNM Student Union Ballroom C   Albuquerque, New Mexico

Click on image to enlarge
Don't spend another Saturday night watching TV! Give your family a night to remember. This fun-filled and educational event is selling out fast, so reserve your tickets before it is too late!

While planning the event, we knew our top priority was to "create smiles as people walk through the door." It was decided that we would try to recruit volunteer African musicians and dance groups to perform for part of the time. Calls were made and several high-profile groups were happily recruited!

Turns out that many of these performers, originally from Africa, have had personal experiences with malaria. All of the groups jumped at the chance to give their time and talent to help prevent this disease from progressing any further in Togo and Ghana.

Featured Performers: Moria West African Dance and Drum Ensemble, the Odigbo Adama African Dance Group, the Matunda Ya Yesu African Youth Choir, the South African Orion Duet, Facinet Bangoura, and Malé Fainke!.

General admission is $15 and the student/child price is $5. Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 and the winner will receive a week at a luxury condominium located on the beautiful shores of the Dominican Republic.

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