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Andy Murray's Philanthropy

Scottish tennis player Andy Murray is a 14-time titleholder of ATP Tour Masters 1000, a three-time Grand Slam champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. He has been able to amass a good amount of money through tournament earnings and sponsorships, and with this, he has been able to help those who need it most. Andy Murray’s philanthropy is based mainly on his partnership with UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador, with which he has taken on many projects; the main ones being related to helping Syrian refugees and improving ways to fight diseases like malaria and cancer.

Andy’s Aces

One of Murray’s first acts of charity as a UNICEF ambassador was by simply playing tennis. In 2015, he vowed to donate £50 every time he hit an ace during his matches throughout the year. He kept his promise and donated over £80,000 with the help of sponsors and fans who matched his contribution, and with this money, UNICEF has been able to send help to over 16,000 children in Syria.

Malaria No More

Since 2009, Murray has been a spokesperson and contributor to Malaria No More alongside retired soccer player, David Beckham. This disease is one of the deadliest for children, killing one child every 30 seconds, according to the UNICEF website, but it is treatable with proper medication. “It costs less than a pack of tennis balls to treat and help save a life,” Murray said. With the birth of his daughter, he has been able to put himself in the shoes of parents less fortunate than himself, and this is why part of Andy Murray’s philanthropy is focused on making sure that malaria is eradicated completely.

Rally for Bally

Following the death of Elena Baltacha, a British tennis player who lost her fight against cancer, Murray created a series of exhibition-type matches where he was joined by other famous players, both active and retired, to raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Some of the well-known faces include Martina Navratilova, James Ward, Petra Kvitová, Agnieszka Radwańska and Ross Hutchins. Hutchins also happens to be one of Murray’s closest friends as well as a cancer survivor himself and was able to join him on the court for the first time since his recovery.

Hutchins was an inspiration for Murray; he claims that when he heard about Hutchins’ diagnosis, he wasn’t able to fully comprehend what his friend had to go through. “And just like that, for the first time, I found myself confronted with the reality of cancer. Here is that reality: Cancer doesn’t discriminate,” Murray wrote. The event now takes place every year and has managed to raise over £80,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, an organization that promotes life-saving research to help cancer victims across the globe.

Andy Murray Live

Andy Murray Live was created as a series of fundraiser matches in Scotland, where Murray invites some of the best-known players in the world like Roger Federer to play against him. Murray is always thinking of his country, and that is why, aside from his contributions with UNICEF, he also donates half of the proceeds from his Andy Murray Live events to local charity groups like Sunny Sid3 Up, an organization in Glasgow that helps people in need, not only in Scotland where they support low-income communities, but also in Sri Lanka where they work to build shelters and promote children’s education.

The life of an athlete is by no means simple or easy, and there are a lot of sacrifices to be made as well as mastering the mind and body to perform on the court, even during stressful times. Andy Murray knows this better than most, as he himself has had to recover from injuries and surgeries which have currently placed him at the very bottom of the rankings in past years. Despite this, he will continue to lend a helping hand to those who need it most and fight for many causes, especially children’s health and education.

– Luciana Schreier
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Top Malaria Nonprofits
Malaria is the most deadly disease facing the world’s poor today. In 2016, roughly 445,000 people died due to malaria, and the illness still remains in 91 countries and threatens half of the world’s population. The fight against malaria is far from over, and many nonprofits are still working on achieving a world without malaria. Here are five of the top malaria nonprofits to be aware. 

Malaria No More  

Malaria No More (MNM) launched in 2006 alongside the President’s Malaria Initiative. The goal of the organization is to create “a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite.” MNM aims to end malaria by mobilizing advocates and securing funding to combat malaria. Their work focuses on three countries, including Kenya.

MNM started work in Kenya in 2014, and their work’s focus is to protect pregnant women and babies who are both at a higher risk for contracting malaria than any other populations. In Kenya, MNM partners with several other nonprofits to make malaria a top political priority. MNM also spreads awareness about malaria through meetings with politicians and events with celebrities.

As a result of MNM’s work, roughly 1,800 mothers and pregnant women received mosquito nets, two Kenyan counties increased funding for malaria elimination and millions of people received information on malaria treatment and prevention via radio.

The International Committee of the Red Cross

Another one of the many nonprofits combating malaria is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Since its inception in 1863, the goal of ICRC is to assist victims of war and poverty. Since malaria threatens so many impoverished nations, the organization aids in combating malaria.

The ICRC also focuses on encouraging and assisting communities to band together and fight malaria. In 2008, the organization and its partners distributed 60,000 nets to Burkina Faso and helped educate its people on the importance of nets and how to hang them properly.

The President’s Malaria Initiative

The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) started in 2006 with the goal of reducing the malaria death rate by 50 percent. The PMI offers several services to the people of sub-Saharan Africa, including insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, intermittent preventative treatments for pregnant women, and seasonal chemoprevention treatments.

Since the formation of the PMI, more than 5 million houses received an indoor residual spraying, which protects more than 20 million people. The PMI also distributed 40 million treated nets. Overall, the malaria rate in sub-Saharan Africa dropped 54 percent in the past 17 years.

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the many nonprofits combating malaria. Founded in 1948, WHO oversees international health through the United Nations and aims to improve health systems and respond to health crises all over the world. Their oversight and work includex fighting to eradicate malaria.

In 2015, the E-2020 plan, which aims to eliminate malaria in 21 countries by 2020, began. WHO is one of several supporters of this initiative and works with 21 countries to reach the elimination of malaria.

Comoros is one of the countries that WHO works with. In 2014, the number of reported indigenous malaria cases reached 53,000; in 2016, that number fell to 1,066. This decrease was the result of a treatment campaign, indoor spraying and the delivery of insecticide-treated nets by WHO.

Nothing But Nets 

Nothing but Nets supplies nets to areas that are vulnerable to malaria. The organization also raises awareness about malaria and mobilizes citizens to take action by contacting their representative or starting a fundraising campaign.

Nothing but Nets raised $65 million for 12 million mosquito nets to be sent to families all over the world. Most of these nets go to sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is most common and deadly. In 2000, only two percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa owned mosquito nets; in 2017, 53 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa possessed a net.

As you can see, these top malaria nonprofits have made it their mission to put a stop to this disease sooner rather than later.

–  Drew Garbe

Photo: Flickr

malaria no more
Every 60 seconds, a child dies from a preventable and curable disease that claims the lives of 453,000 children per year—90 percent of those in Africa.

Malaria is considered one of the top three causes of death for children worldwide. But there’s one nonprofit that’s taking on the challenge to slow down the clock and lower its global threat to about half the world at risk. Malaria No More is dedicated to bringing an end to malaria deaths by engaging leaders, rallying the public and delivering lifesaving tools and education to families across Africa.

With the rate of 13,000 children losing their lives to a mosquito bite everyday, it is a critical time for this nonprofit to do its work efficiently and effectively. They do this through two sectors: lifesaving commodities and health education.

Malaria No More has covered over five million people with mosquito nets in at least 17 African countries, which to date is the surest way to prevent malaria. In Senegal, the organization conducted the first universal coverage of mosquito net distribution. In Cameroon, they inspired over 500,000 people to sleep under mosquito nets with their education campaign.

In the Fall of 2013, Malaria No More launched a campaign to deploy rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin-based combination treatments to reduce malaria deaths in children. Rapid-diagnostic tests help expand the world’s ability to confirm malaria cases in remote settings and ensure that people get the right treatment where they need it. Likewise, artemisinin-based combination therapies act as a powerful treatment for malaria with a full course costing just one dollar to buy and deliver, curing a child one to three days time.

In addition to these lifesaving commodities, Malaria No More offers health education, which plays a vital role to preventing, diagnosing and treating the disease. For example, their NightWatch initiative has reached at least 20 million Africans by engaging mobile platforms and African leaders, from international music icons to local sports heroes, to deliver lifesaving health education.

Malaria No More works on the ground to make sure that every family in Africa has timely access to the resources they need, whether it’s providing mosquito nets to sleep under at night or the one dollar full-course treatment.

Other solutions the nonprofit suggests include indoor residual spraying to help kill mosquitoes and reduce the rate of malaria transmission in addition to the development of more vaccines for malaria and support via government funding.

Though foreign aid represents less than one percent of the U.S. federal budget, all efforts make an impact on the ground. Bridging the current funding gap and helping countries deliver lifesaving resources will help bring down the rate of malaria deaths. Since 2000, malaria mortality rates have fallen about 60 percent among children under the age of five, but there’s still much more work to do.

Thanks to technology behemoth Google, Malaria No More is closer to reaching their goals. In December 2014, Google made a huge move toward fighting against malaria by announcing a $600,000 grant to help fund a mobile phone project to combat the disease.

So how does it work? Since many Africans communicate via mobile phones, there’s no better way to collect data and send them vital information that details preventative measures that can save those in targeted areas from one of the most deadly diseases. Malaria No More will partner with a Nigerian startup called Sproxil, which helps fight the counterfeit drug market by putting codes on authentic medicines. Anyone who purchases these can now text the codes to verify the drugs.

In addition, texting codes allows Malaria No More to receive data on what drugs people are taking in remote areas as well as track the spread and treatments for the disease.

– Chelsee Yee

Sources: Malaria No More, Geek Wire, Fighting Malaria
Photo: Malaria No More

Rally on World Mosquito Day - The Borgen Project
Since 1897, August 20 has been a particularly important date for those in the developing world. On this day, British scientist Sir Ronald Ross made the breakthrough discovery that malaria, the deadly disease that kills 600,000 to one million people each year, was not caused by “bad air,” but rather by the female anopheles mosquito. His findings became the foundation for all scientific research and efforts to eradicate the widespread pandemic. And while institutions commemorate and celebrate Ross’s discovery with World Mosquito Day, anti-malaria groups perceive August 20 as a yearly reminder that the battle against mosquitoes continues.

Flash forward 117 years from 1897 and people are still dying from mosquitoes, with 3.4 billion people, or nearly half of the world’s population, at risk of malaria. According to the World Health Organization, there have been about 207 million malaria cases and an estimated 627,000 malaria-related deaths, particularly in poor countries in Africa. While virtually all of these deaths could be prevented by mosquito control and early treatment, malaria remains the fifth-leading cause of death from infectious diseases globally.

But since Ross’ discovery, increased malaria prevention and control measures have dramatically reduced the disease’s burden in many regions. Malaria mortality rates have fallen by 42 percent globally since 2000 and 49 percent in Africa, where 90 percent of the world’s malaria deaths occur. Cures and solutions such as artemisnin-based combination therapy drugs, insecticidal protection nets and indoor residual sprays have contributed to these decreased rates.

While people have been talking less about “malaria control” and more about “eradication,” it is clear that we are still far off from completely ridding the world of malaria parasites. But on World Mosquito Day, anti-malaria groups are organizing rallies to draw attention to the fight against malaria and empower those most at-risk to participate and take action.

In Cameroon, the NGO Malaria No More sent junior ambassadors to the country’s capital city to lead a raucous World Mosquito Day street rally. While some ambassadors dig out sewage trenches to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, others promote music, dancing and speeches to produce a celebratory atmosphere. Children are quizzed about malaria and given mosquito nets in exchange for right answers.

This is only a small part of Malaria No More’s efforts to diminish malaria outbreaks in Cameroon. In 2011, the organization launched NightWatch, a program that reminds Cameroonians to sleep under their mosquito nets through nightly television and radio advertisements, billboards featuring Cameroon’s celebrities and two hit songs about malaria by popular musicians.

Malaria No More also established a system to ensure that clinics are always supplied with malaria tests and treatments, known as SMS For Life. The initiative allows health workers to report stock levels of life-saving malaria medications before they run out to reduce the frequent shortages through simple cell phones.

A crucial role in Malaria No More’s mission to save lives from malaria in Cameroon and other African countries is advocacy. With cost-effective malaria interventions contributing to a 48 percent global decline in malaria deaths, the organization seeks to raise awareness and galvanize support among policymakers and businesses leaders for funding and policies needed to end the fight.

For Malaria No More, August 20 is another opportunity to increase recognition of the persistent disease and the millions that suffer from it. Olivia Ngou of Malaria No More claims that “maybe giving mosquitos as much publicity as the diseases they cause will help,” while encouraging other organizations and anti-malaria projects to draw attention to World Mosquito Day.

While we can celebrate how much progress we have made in the global battle with malaria, it is important to remember that mosquitoes will not become extinct any time soon.

Abby Bauer

Sources: Global Post, Malaria No More, WHO
Photo: Blogspot

mobile tech
As mobile technology continues to rise and expand across our nation, it has also begun to play an important role in poorer, less fortunate countries as well. Mobile tech is becoming a crucial part in alleviating poverty, helping both the individual and the community of these areas in need. Here are five ways that mobile tech is improving lives.

Education

While mobile tech has been increasingly implemented into curriculums in the United States to increase efficiency, so it has been in poorer countries as well. One educational, nonprofit company named Eneza Education has been participating in this effort. The mobile platform has over 100,000 students in 400 schools all over Kenya, and aims to increase enrollment to over 200,000.

Banking

According to The World Bank, some 2.5 billion people — half of the adult population — do not have a bank account. As a result, it is harder for individuals to accumulate wealth or save for the future. However, mobile banking is allowing more and more people around the world to have access to an electronic money saving system. Individuals are now able to take out insurance policies, set up loans and transfer money to one another. By allowing poverty-stricken individuals to save, overseas markets are being strengthened.

Tracking

Tracking, by means of mobile technology, is something of a double-edged sword, but many analysts agree that the pros outweigh the cons. One major drawback is that mobile tech is a powerful tool in organizing human trafficking. Traffickers have the ability to streamline, organize and, yes, even advertise their exploits through this technology. Despite this unfortunate use of tracking, officials are becoming increasingly able to crack these codes to bust traffickers. In fact, The Polaris Project has been able to harness data analysis to ensure the safety of people who have been kidnapped.

Health care

Without access to health care, it is nearly impossible to alleviate poverty in some regions of the world. Mobile tech is helping improve the quality of health care at a rapid pace. “Malaria No More” is an example of one NGO using mobile tech to improve health care conditions. One of “Malaria No More’s” campaigns has soccer star Didier Drogba dispatch a text message to millions of Kenyans that asks, “Are you and your family sleeping under your nets tonight?” Safety sleeping nets are an incredible way to reduce the contraction of malaria. The NGO reports that this campaign has increased the number of individuals sleeping under tents by 12 percent.

Agriculture

Mobile tech is at it’s best when it is transferring small amounts of data quickly between individuals and groups. This is proving invaluable to farmers. Take the Kenyan mobile platform SokoniSMS64 for example. The program uses SMS text messages to unload details about the wholesale price of crops to farmers. In turn, farmers communicate among one another and with traders to negotiate fair pricing. There are also services such as “iCow from M-Farm” that assists farmers who have livestock. The app can set schedules, helps organize feeding routines and even has a built in weather app, so that farmers can adequately prepare for upcoming days

– Andrew Rywak

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, businesssolutiontopoverty.com, womendeliver.org
Photo: Scribe