Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rick Reilly on World Malaria Day

A cool little piece from arguably the best sportswriter ever...

Ashton Kutcher isn't cool just because he's one of the few stars in Hollywood who played high school football. And he isn't cool because he recently promised to ding-dong ditch Ted Turner's house. He's cool because he just donated 10,000 nets at $10 a piece to stop the spread of malaria in Africa. Kutcher did it to celebrate becoming the first person to reach 1 million followers on Twitter, which inspired CNN to donate 10,000 nets, which got Oprah Winfrey to pitch in 20,000 nets. Perfect with World Malaria Day Saturday, April 25. But what if all million of Kutcher's Twitter-ers gave a net? That would be a million more lives saved! Now Turner has posed a challenge: If 10,000 more people join the Nothing But Nets campaign—the program I helped found with the United Nations Foundation—he's going to have Kutcher and his wife, Demi Moore, over for lunch If that happens, I'll donate 2,000 more nets myself. And do the dishes.

1 comment:

Stef Schiffer said...

The UK education charity and its alternative news channel WORLDbytes has released a filmed report entitled “Early to Bed-Net” as a sober challenge to campaigners organising World Malaria Day on Saturday 25th April, 2009. The report criticises campaigners’ claims that the day represents an ‘effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world.’

Director Ceri Dingle says: “There is something quite nauseating about a campaign which treats Africa as a continent of little children that should go to bed early under a charity veil, otherwise known as a bed net. It is sadly consistent with Western low horizons, environmental prejudice and guilt inspired giving. The World Malaria Day in the West smacks of the modern missionary position and the ‘feel good’ at least we’re doing something, effect. If campaigners were serious about the eradication of malaria, pesticides would be number one on the agenda.”

The report which features twelve feisty young UK volunteers with families from different parts of the world, is available to view at