Highlights from the Send the Net 2012 Challenge - saving lives from Malaria
Since World Malaria Day on April 25th 2012, schools and congregations around the UK have been joining hands in preventing malaria – one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
By taking the SEND THE NET 2012 CHALLENGE: 12 nets to save 12 lives, and raising money to buy 12 lifesaving malaria bed nets, faith communities have taken a direct role in saving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Participants across the UK have included members of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths. Over the last couple months, faith communities have rallied together to create exciting fundraising projects including Jubilee teas, chocolate fasts, car washing, raffles, bouncy castles, cake decorating and card making.
At the Kingston Liberal Synagogue in Surrey, youth members were encouraged to bring tzedakah (charitable contributions) to religion school each week. Ben Baginsky, Youth Director of the synagogue, explained their inspirations for getting involved in the project: “the Jewish commitment to social justice and the fact that our community is so fortunate in so many ways [makes it] important that we acknowledge that and use our resources to perform some tikkun olam (repairing the world).”
At the Ahmaddiya Muslim Women’s Association in Tooting market stalls were held by the women and funds were collected from their members over the course of a few weeks. Nabeela Shah, a member of the Association, expressed her enthusiasm of the community’s involvement and described the initiative as “a lovely reminder of faiths working together”.
Reverend Fraser at the St Anne and All Saints Church in Lambeth led the Send the Net project at his church by draping a symbolic bed net over the pulpit during a Sunday service and asking congregants to ‘tag’ their faith inspirations onto the net. The community really rallied around the concept of raising funds to send 12 bed nets to Sierra Leone and Burma and ended up to raising triple their target!
At the Khalsa Club-Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Derby 100 participants raised £135 through some very creative fundraising activities including car washing, cake making and a home-made chutney stall.
The Sai School in Harrow raised an impressive £460 – that’s a total of 46 life-saving bed nets for Health Poverty Action’s health care programmes in Sierra Leone and Burma. A total of 182 students and teachers and helpers took part in the event. Fundraising took the form of various games including a Vedic (ancient Hindu) Maths Challenge, Bingo, chess and draughts!
Send the Net has also received generous support from other faith groups and schools including Holy Trinity Brompton and there is some great fundraising activities taking place at Maney Hill Primary School in Sutton and Khalsa Clubs in Woolwich and Coventry.
It’s safe to say that the Send the Net Challenge has served as an important symbol for the positive force faith can play in our local and global community. So far, by working together, individuals of the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths have raised enough money to send 178 life-saving bed nets to communities vulnerable to malaria in Sierra Leone and Burma. Now that’s what I call a force for good!
On behalf of Faiths Act and Health Poverty Action, we’d like to say a very big thank you to everyone who took part in Send the Net and for helping us in our efforts to prevent needless deaths from malaria.