Etisalat Nigeria Fight Malaria

Etisalat Nigeria, a telecommunications company dedicated to providing stable and socially responsible service to Nigerians, has revealed plans for starting ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ in secondary schools around the country. This announcement took place at the World Malaria Day event on April 25, 2016.

Etisalat’s dedication to fighting Malaria in Nigeria, however, is not new. The company has already established relationships with communities and donated insecticide-treated malaria nets to local governments and schools. The ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ will continue Etisalat’s prior initiative that supported Student Leaders Against Malaria (SLAM) groups.

These new ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ will be pioneered by two of Etisalat’s adopted schools through their Adopt-A-School program. The company ‘adopts’ schools through a partnership with the Lagos state government in Nigeria to “bring about sustainable change and development.”

The Director of Regulatory and Corporate Social Responsibility, Ikenna Ikeme, noted that once the pilot program at Akande Dahunsi Memorial Junior and Senior Secondary school is complete, Etisalat “plan[s] to roll out subsequently to our other adopted schools.”

Ikeme also stressed the importance of involving the youth in efforts to eliminate Malaria in Nigeria and the impact that educating school-age children can have on creating “change in behavior in households.” These clubs will allow Etisalat to train students in utilizing technology and other resources to counter the spread of Malaria and for both personal and community-wide success.

Through participation in these clubs and the resources afforded to them, students will learn how to “implement malaria prevention programs in their various homes, surroundings and community at large” and can actively mobilize others to join the movement.

A final fascinating part of Etisalat’s plan for the ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ in secondary schools is the use of social media technology among participants to engage in and promote “malaria prevention messages.” By providing technological resources that allow for students to participate in a global conversation about eliminating Malaria, these clubs have the potential for not just a local impact, but a global one.

The initiative to involve youth in malaria prevention work reflects Etisalat’s larger mission to be a socially responsible company, as outlined on their home page. The company not only uses their technology and resources to lend a hand to local communities but also provides scholarships and career counseling to students. Etisalat also pursues initiatives to lower the maternal and infant mortality rate, the risk of Ebola, and the level of environmental degradation.

Now at the forefront of global news, Etisalat’s work of empowering individuals and communities through reliable access to crucial resources such as 3G data and wireless calling is gaining recognition as an admirable model for socially responsible business.

Kathleen Kelso

“Youth is wasted on the young.” Time and again, young people are told that they are not utilizing their energy for good. But that saying does not hold true for those behind the We Day event, We Act initiative and the Free the Children organization.

We Day is an event for youth with some of the biggest names in pop culture — including Malala Yousafzai, Magic Johnson, the Jonas brothers, Selena Gomez and many more — in attendance, but tickets are not available for purchase. To be able to attend one of these inspirational, youth-centered events, one must become a part of a yearlong We Act initiative, driven by the organization Free the Children. This empowers youth to end poverty by enacting social change locally and globally.

The bigger picture of the event is driven by Free the Children. It is an international charity that works by partnering UK, US and Canadian schools and other groups to create events that will impact other children on a global level, namely in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The charity’s model is based on the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” Children raise money through various fundraising events, money that is then used to develop whole poverty-stricken communities abroad. The organization believes that by focusing on a holistic approach village by village, there is a greater chance of bringing that community out of poverty. When working in a village, the organization works at all levels: it focuses on education, clean water and sanitation, health, economy and food production. One specific project being worked on is the giving of goats to families and villages and finding sponsors for the animals; the gift helps to increase a community’s food security and economy.

With this global model in mind, Free the Children has the We Act offshoot directly aimed at motivating children in the UK, US and Canada into action. Specifically, the organization strives to take the mindset of “me” and turn it into “we.” Schools and other domestic organizations can become involved in a yearlong We Act initiative. Individual groups pledge to have one domestic and one international goal to work towards. The youth are given weekly updates about global injustices, information about domestic issues and ideas on how to fundraise in dynamic ways to achieve the goals.

Part of the awareness revolves around children in impoverished parts of the world that might be displaced through wars or political unrest. The organization shows youths involved in the movement, who are blessed to live in a stabilized country, how their counterparts overseas are in refugee camps, forced into child labor and/or food insecure. Better work can be done when the eyes of youth in industrialized nations are opened to the horrors facing other children around the world.

The culmination of We Act is We Day. Throughout the entire process, youth are given the charge to be social agents. The organization strongly believes that “we are the first generation that can truly end the worst forms of poverty, embrace we thinking and we acting and remove the barriers to youth being agents of social change.”

We Day allows groups to network with other empowered youths and keep kids energized to continue in the fight against poverty and social injustice throughout the world. If this coming generation can remember that living “locally active, globally aware” has truly helped others, then no longer will the older generation lament that youth is wasted: The young are now creators of global change themselves.

Megan Ivy

Sources: Free the Children, We Day
Photo: We Day


In June 2015, the Senate of the Philippines made its final amendments to the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction Act, calling on young Filipinos to mobilize during calamities and disasters. The amendments make the younger generation a key part of disaster relief and Filipino activist culture.

The Philippines are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Every year, typhoons, earthquakes and storm surges hit the islands with vigor. According to Senator Aquino, “the youth are playing a vital role in our pursuit of overall disaster resilience. They have served as a beacon of hope and catalyst of action.”

What are the kids saying about it? They’re using what they know best to bring about change: social media.

The #MoveTawiTawi movement brought together 1,500 young activists to workshop solutions on how to improve Tawi-Tawi, an island providence of the Philippines.

The youth activists discussed everything from drug and violence issues to waste management and biodiversity. They analyzed the problems, found solutions and presented them to a panel of experts. By participating in this type of workshop, the young generation of future leaders learned about problem-solving by tackling real life issues.

Activism has proved to be a key tool for the Philippines throughout history, and there is hope of seeing more activism-related legislation in the future as a result of recent youth mobilization.

Harry Roque Jr., a Filipino attorney and activist that may be running for a seat in the Philippines Senate, affirmed in The Manila Standard News his hopes to advocate for legislation that will help fight poverty.

“I want to make activism not only as a tool for the parliament of the streets, but as a main weapon in crafting legislation to fight poverty. I want to bring activism to the chambers of the Philippines Senate,” Roque Jr. writes in his opinion piece. He continues promoting youth activism for human rights, the environment, women’s rights and freedom of speech.

With activists occupying Senate seats and a population of young, motivated individuals, the Philippines could see a great deal of positive change in its future.

– Hannah Resnick

Sources: The Standard, Prevention Web, Rappler
Photo: Anakbayan Toronto

After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, then 10-year-old Talia Leman decided that she needed to do something to help. This desire to aid those in need led to the birth of RandomKid, a nonprofit organization that has made a difference in the lives of millions.

Leman was living in a small town in Iowa and was shocked by the media coverage of the hurricane’s disastrous effects. She began reaching out to the country’s youths in hopes of getting them to fundraise for the survivors of the hurricane. She started a movement encouraging other children to decide to collect donations towards a relief fund on Halloween, rather than collecting candy. Leman called the project Trick or Treat for the Levee Catastrophe (TLC) and created a website.

The project gained media attention, with Leman and her younger brother Zander being invited to appear on The Today Show, resulting in children across the country participating in fundraising efforts. After that, Leman explains that, “kids were reporting their totals in this TLC website and we’d call and verify the amount and the effort. Along the way, kids didn’t all trick-or-treat; kids also wanted to sell their 4H sheep or they wanted to wash cars and do others things as well.”

All of these efforts resulted in a huge number of young people raising money and ultimately reported $10 million worth of relief funds for Hurricane Katrina.


The Birth of RandomKid


When Leman saw how successful her efforts to inspire other children and young people were, she decided to co-found RandomKid, a nonprofit organization whose goal is mobilize efforts among these groups to bring about change.

Since then, RandomKid has been able to rally together about 12 million young people from 20 different countries to help people around the world. These efforts have resulted in the building of schools in Cambodia and play centers in Iowa as well as providing for water pumps in Africa and medical care, all working towards the overall goal of creating a more peaceful world.

As CEO and a founder of RandomKid, Leman has been an inspiration to young people around the world. She was appointed as UNICEF’s National Youth Ambassador and has been awarded nationally and internationally for her work. Leman has won the National Jefferson Award for global change, with the co-recipients of this award being Marlo Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Back in 2008, she also received a World of Children Founder’s Youth Award.

RandomKid’s tagline is “The Power of ANYone,” which Leman credits to the organization belief in the “power of the in-, individual because it’s those small efforts along the way that lead to the biggest outcome.”

Today, RandomKid partners with other nonprofit organizations and services, with Leman running the organization with help from volunteers and her family and friends. Her mother Dana now serves as the Executive Vice President and has said in regard to RandomKid that, “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping a child to help another.”

Only 18 years old now, Leman has a long future of humanitarian efforts and projects ahead of her. When asked what she loves the most about RandomKid, Leman has said, “The moment when the random youth who come to us realize that we are here to work FOR them.”

Through projects like Leman’s, we can see that together, young people can fight a lot of the world’s issues, including poor conditions and global poverty.

Julie Guacci

Sources: RandomKidE, The Story Exchange, Huffington Post, World of Children, Forbes
Photo: The Women’s Eye