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By: Rebecca Lathe

The Power to Protect

June 8, 2017
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Malaria kills. Children. Girls.

As a Teen Advisor to Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, I know the value of a girl’s life. I’ve worked in my community to spread awareness about the value of girls to society as a whole and more importantly, girls’ human right to safety, sanitation, healthcare, education, and the opportunity to succeed.

But the opportunity to succeed comes with prerequisites that we often take for granted. If we want girls to succeed, they first need access to life.

And malaria kills.

In fact, every 60 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria.

Girl Up, an innovative campaign to mobilize American girls to help girls in developing countries, seeks to free girls from child marriage, from poverty, from lack of education. My club at school has around 40 girls; as a movement, we are more than 360,000 strong. But no matter how many bake sales my classmates and I plan, if the girls that we are trying to help are at risk of dying from malaria, our efforts are futile.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Malaria kills more than 600,000 people each year, most of them young children. For just $10, anyone can provide a simple, life-saving solution: an insecticide-treated bed net. Bed nets protect families, particularly vulnerable children, pregnant women, and newborns from this preventable disease. I stand with Girl Up, the UN Foundation, and the Nothing But Nets campaign as we protect girls’ futures and lives—lives just as valuable as mine or yours. Lives that have the potential to become something great.

Malaria kills. Children. Girls. But together, we have the power to end malaria.

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