What do mullets and mosquitos have in common? They’re bold. They can be distracting. They’re abundant in the southern part of the US.
At the University of Notre Dame, mullets are also a force for good to fight malaria, the world’s deadliest mosquito-born disease.
In 2013, the president of St. Edward’s Hall at University of Notre Dame challenged Hall residents to launch a campaign against malaria. Their idea – “Mullets Against Malaria” – proved to be a stroke of genius. Over the past decade, the annual campaign has raised over $100,000 for United to Beat Malaria, providing critical malaria interventions for famillies around the world.
Residents of St. Edwards have their hair cut at the start of every year into a legendary 80’s hairstyle, the “mullet,” to draw attention to the ongoing fight against malaria and raise funds for the charity. It is only when the fund-raising target for the year is met that the mullets can be retired—something that has occurred every year since the campaign’s conception. Enthusiasm surrounding the event is high with every recurring year; as explained by Ryan Johnson, a student at Notre Dame and Mullets Against Malaria Commissioner: “the Gentlemen of St. Edward’s Hall won’t shy away from a fight, especially when it’s against malaria.” To see more of Johnson’s thoughts on the campaign, check out this blog post from St. Edward’s Hall.
Mullets Against Malaria reinforces the message that millions of people around the world are at risk for malaria, despite it being a preventable, treatable disease. As such, the residents of St. Ed’s reinvigorate the fight against malaria with each passing year by spreading awareness and encouraging donations, all of which go directly to providing lifesaving bed nets, treatments, and other malaria interventions for young children, pregnant women, displaced families, and other vulnerable populations. Through their hard work, the campaign has raised $18,893 from 156 donors this year alone (as of Feb. 7,) upkeeping passion and momentum in the fight to end malaria.
Check out the video below to learn more from the gentlemen at St. Edward’s Hall!