This is a guest blog post written by Nathalie Symens, a ONE Youth Ambassador in Belgium.
- What an amazing day! Another one to add to my ONE memories. I will never forget World Malaria Day 2015 in Brussels with ONE and the amazing flash mob we organised. Four giant mosquitoes, making an unbearable zzZzZzzzZz-noise, were annoying Youth Ambassadors in front of the Central Station.At one point, everyone took out a bed net and covered themselves with it. This made the mosquitos leave: Youth Ambassadors managed to defeat malaria! We celebrated the good news dancing all together, involving the public as well.
This was just one way we used to show people in Brussels that ending malaria is possible. We also engaged children, who were encouraged to beat the monstrous mosquitoes in a game to become ‘certified mosquito warriors’ and to receive a special warrior face painting. Our “kill the mosquito” game wasn’t only popular with children, but also for the parents and our ONE Youth Ambassadors themselves… and passers-by also had lots of fun taking pictures with the giant mosquitoes that were buzzing around!
- All the people we approached were ready to listen and were willing to show support in the fight against preventable disease like malaria. We showed people some factsheets to explain how serious the problem of malaria is and also how simple and cheap the solutions can be.
I’d like to give you one fact that will astonish you: one child is dying every single minute from malaria in Africa! Everyone agrees that immediate action is required, and the good news is that since the year 2000, the number of deaths from malaria has been halved. But we have to continue to scale up resources in order to finally defeat it once and for all. People in Brussels agreed and signed a pledge to ask world leaders to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases such as malaria.
Sooooo, we did it! Our ambitious and enthusiastic Youth Ambassadors team did it! We met two important goals: Firstly, we raised awareness about the importance of fighting malaria, a deadly, yet preventable disease. And secondly, by signing pledges, we asked our leaders to prioritise those most in need, in particular girls and women, to be able to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases by 2030.