To me, there is nothing more important than being safe from preventable disease. It shocks me still how many people in third-world countries cannot protect themselves or their families because they lack basic needs. Water is a necessary component to a healthy body and a basic human right. I was astonished to find out in my junior year of high school that a huge percentage of the population in Africa has little to no access to clean water. Most African women and children are forced to walk more than 10 miles to reach a water source which is often shared by animals, filled with bacteria, and covered in scum. Many people in Africa die from a toxic water supply. In trying to find a way to help, I discovered the African Well Fund, a nonprofit organization who teams up with Africare to build wells in Sub-Saharan Africa. I was so moved by the dedication of these people to helping others that I tried to find a way to send a substantial chunk. I decided to organize the "Sing Well" Charity Concert to raise funds. I had professional choral groups from all around the Buffalo area come and perform. It was a very successful concert and we raised more than $3,000! Because it was so successful I am now in the process of organizing the second one. One well can change so many lives. It was truly moving to see all the people willing to donate their time and money to a worthy cause for people they have never met.
At the end of my junior year I was enlightened to a horrible problem in Africa which I had never really thought about. Malaria. I had heard about the growing epidemic but I never realized its extent. I tried to find a charity that deals with this problem and I found the Nothing But Nets Foundation. Did you know that a bed mosquito net can prevent malaria ridden mosquitoes for four years for four people? I started a net-raiser team called "Network4Friends" and we have to date raised $500 for Nothing but Nets. We have raised awareness at hundreds of local cultural festivals and recently we started selling baked goods at the Buffalo Bills Football Games. We try and spread our message through our school, village, town, and city communities. Our latest project is an unusual one. At our school, the environmental club has disintegrated because there wasn't enough interest; so, all the soda cans and plastic bottles are being thrown into the garbage! We decided to collect all the empty bottles and cans and recycle them. The money we have used to support Network4Friends.
To learn more about our projects please visit these sites: