In honor of International Youth Day, we’ll be sharing amazing stories about young anti-poverty advocates and the work they do throughout the month of August. ONE’s strategic relationships intern Catherine Ayres profiles four young people doing some amazing work with Nothing But Nets.
Meet Katherine Commale. So far, Katherine and her family have raised over $200,000 for anti-malaria bed nets in Africa, and she has spread the word far and wide about the problems of malaria in Africa. And the most amazing part? Katherine is only 12 years old!
Photo caption: Clockwise from left: Kevin, Nate, Katherine and Elisabeth. Photo credit Platon and the United Nations Foundation.
When we heard about the fantastic work Katherine and other children and teenagers are doing with Nothing But Nets, we had to share it. Nothing But Nets is a grassroots campaign run by the UN Foundation that raises awareness and funding for anti-malaria bed nets in Africa. For every donation of just $10, they provide a life-saving bed net to those in Africa who need it most.
Yet Nothing But Nets’ work would not be possible without the incredible determination of its supporters, many of whom aren’t even old enough to drive. Here are some of the inspiring kids who are working to end malaria in Africa.
Katherine Commale: Starting in 2006, Katherine and her mom Lynda presented to her church and local community about malaria and the effectiveness of bed nets. Katherine and her younger brother even constructed a diorama that showed how bed nets work in a way that everyone could understand. Since then, Katherine and her family’s efforts have yielded amazing results. She has talked on CNN, presented to more than 6,000 international bishops and lay people at the Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church, met Nothing But Nets champion Mandy Moore, and been featured on ABC’s Be the Change: Save a Life program. Nearly $200,000 later, Katherine and her family are still working hard to end malaria, one bed net at a time.
Kevin Vernimb: When he was only 14, Kevin began fundraising for Nothing But Nets by setting up a NETraiser team, selling golf balls, creating an email campaign, and running a Family Day Recreation Basketball Event that included a silent auction of NFL and MLS items. So far, he has raised just over $20,000.
Elisabeth Clymer: “Swim a lap to save a life” says Elisabeth, who hosted a yearly swim-a-thon to raise money for Nothing But Nets. During the 2011 event, swimmers covered 8,828 labs, or over 137 miles. Thanks to their efforts, Elisabeth was able to donate enough to cover almost 500 anti-malaria nets. Now in college, Elisabeth continues her work spreading the word.
Nate Stafford: When Nate told his mom he wanted to take a hike in honor of the 100-year anniversary of scouting, she had no idea he wanted to hike 100 miles. But that is exactly what Nate did. He also turned his hike into a fundraising opportunity for Nothing But Nets. Supporters of his trek donated enough funds to send hundreds of bed nets to Africa. Nate didn’t stop there, though—so far he has raised over $10,000.