CA-NV Youth Honored as Heroes at 'Nothing But Nets' Event
September 18, 2009
By Jane Horstman
Communications Office, CA-NV Annual Conference
Four California-Nevada Annual Conference youth were recognized and honored on behalf of their youth groups, at a Nothing But Nets campaign dinner hosted by Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, Tuesday evening.
The dinner was part of the Nothing But Nets "city tour" which landed in the Bay Area on the 17th leg of its ongoing journey. The dinner was followed by a public rally at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, Wednesday afternoon.
Nakae'La Shelby, representing the youth group at Taylor Memorial, and Aaron Rhodes, Emma Rhodes, and Tom McHugh, representing the 2009 ACS Youth Delegation, received a certificate from Nothing But Nets campaign Director Adrianna Logalbo, in recognition of their hard work, dedication, and commitment in the fight against malaria.
"You all are heroes," Logalbo told the young people. "Youth around the country have been taking on this issue and getting involved. It is incredibly inspiring to see young leaders raising awareness at a local level and having such a global impact.
"Our supporters, our partners, and the people of the United Methodist Church are the true heroes in this cause," she added.
Created in 2006 by the UN Foundation, Nothing But Nets, a global grassroots campaign committed to saving lives by preventing malaria, together with its partners has raised almost $3 million and distributed more than 2.5 million nets.
As a founding partner in the Nothing But Nets campaign, the people of the United Methodist Church are making a significant contribution through their efforts and have been instrumental in raising awareness.
"Our youth have taken a lead in this effort," praised Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. at the Taylor Memorial event. "Children are profoundly impacted by this disease."
Every year malaria infects nearly 500 million people, killing more than one million of them - of whom 75% are children younger than five.
"A year ago," the Bishop continued, "when I was preparing to come to the California-Nevada Annual Conference, I challenged the churches to see what they could do for the Nothing But Nets campaign. The goal was to raise $50,000. At last report, the Conference has raised just over $122,000. That's exciting - I'm excited!"
Bishop Thomas Bickerton, the national spokesperson for the United Methodist Church for the NBN campaign, also addressed the crowd, emphasizing the importance of partners working together in cooperation and collaboration.
"Every 30 seconds a child dies. A tiny little bug is winning the war [against humanity] due to a lack of cooperation and collaboration." But, he said, "Together we can create interdependent solutions."
"Malaria has been eradicated in about 10 countries - places where there is collaboration and cooperation," he added. "In 60 countries where there is an absence of collaboration and cooperation, malaria runs rampant.
"The beauty of Nothing But Nets is found in its partnerships," Bishop Bickerton concluded. "The role of faith-based organizations like the UMC is critical to its success. Eliminating malaria is only possible when we generate power in partnerships - sacred partnerships with other people of faith; internal partnerships with sister churches in this Annual Conference; and secular partnerships with businesses and governments.
"Malaria is bigger than any one of us as an individual. What's impossible for one is possible when we yoke together in a creative partnership, in a concentrated effort to make a difference."