I am usually writing about leadership development for corporate executives – high impact service opportunities to involve business people and philanthropists in global issues. Today, I am thrilled to write about a national program to engage children here in the U.S. in saving the lives of their fellow children who are threatened by malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and South America.
Malaria kills 1 million people each year, 75% of whom are children under the age of 5. Among the programs created and pioneered by youth volunteers at Children for Children is Sweat for Nets. With support from Alcoa Foundation, this national youth movement engages young people from diverse backgrounds in planning fun and meaningful projects at the local level to raise awareness about malaria as a global threat and funds to purchase insecticide-treated bed nets for prevention ($10 per net to protect 3 children). Children for Children, a NYC-based organization that promotes and facilitates youth service and giving, partnered with the CDC Foundation (affiliated with the Center for Disease Control) to facilitate bed net distribution, donations, and tracking.
Not only does Sweat for Nets address a vital matter, but the campaign also begins preparing children for future leadership – in learning about global issues as well as geography, caring for others, advocating for support, planning activities to raise money, organizing in teams, working with children from a variety of backgrounds on a common mission, and enjoying the achievement of success in helping others.
At a time when donors are watching their investments extra carefully, an organization like Children for Children has all the marks of excellence. Sweat for Nets is only one of their outstanding programs that is highly leveraged through partnerships. This organization also provides evidence that a small organization can have an exponential impact when there is excellent leadership, a compelling mission, and a vital vision.