Meet the 11-Year-Old Girl Leading the Fight Against Malaria for Kids in Africa
Every time you ‘like’ and share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000, via the Global Moms Relay to help improve the health and well-being of families worldwide in support of Shot@Life, UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets.
World Refugee Day is June 20 and it is an important moment for us all to rally around the millions of refugees living displaced around the world who have fled conflict, natural disasters, famine, and disease.
For years, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign has worked to protect refugees, particularly children, pregnant women, and families from malaria, a disease that claims the life of a child every two minutes.
Refugees often flee with little in their personal possession and need life-saving bed nets to protect them from the mosquitoes that carry malaria.
Last summer, Nothing But Nets visited the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in northwestern Tanzania. There, they met Amisa Batenga, an 11-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who became the subject of their new virtual reality film, “Under the Net.” Viewers can experience life through Amisa’s eyes and witness her transition to a new home, new school, and to a health clinic where her youngest siblings are treated for malaria. The team also helped hang bed nets in her home.
Recently, our partners at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) had a chance to check in on Amisa and were thrilled to find that she is staying healthy and thriving, thanks to the support you provide to Nothing But Nets.
The following is an excerpt from their conversation with Amisa:
Are you aware your story has been shared with millions of people around the world? It is inspiring them to send bed nets to Nyarugusu and other places across Africa.
I remember Nothing But Nets came to visit me last year. I did not know my story has been shared with so many people, but I am so happy to know that now.
We have seen pictures of you and your family under your new nets. Are you staying healthy now?
I still have my bed net and sleep under it. It makes me feel safe. We are all healthy. No one has had malaria since we got our nets last year.
That’s great news. That means you get to go to school, which I know you love. Do you still want to become a nurse?
Yes, I want to be a nurse and help to deliver babies. My favorite subject in school is English, though, because my teacher, Mr. Abbas, is great. Nyota likes English and French. Jiliene likes French. Fidel loves English because he wants to live in the United States one day and become a policeman. Masida is only in kindergarten and she likes all the subjects.
And what do your other siblings want to be when they grow up?
Nyota wants to be a nurse, too. Jiliene wants to be a teacher. Masida wants to be a doctor.
What else do you like to do when you’re not in school?
We like singing and dancing. We like to spend time with our friends here. I have two best friends. But after school, we come home first to help our mama cook and do other work because she is alone with the babies when we are at school.
Yes, we are glad that Chansaline and Erodiasi have been able to stay healthy, too. They are growing up so fast. Have you heard any news about your father yet?
No, we haven’t heard where he is and if he ok. But I hope we get to see him again soon.
There are a lot of kids like you living around the world. What do you wish for them?
I wish every child to live in a happy family, to be healthy, and to be able to study freely.
Amisa is an 11-year-old refugee living at Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Tanzania. It is one of the world’s largest refugee camps, run by UNHCR and supported by more than 70 partner organizations. Malaria is the leading killer here, where Amisa lives with her mother and six siblings. Amisa first met the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign in August 2016 when she became the subject of its first-ever virtual reality film, “Under the Net,” as she struggled to survive each day with no protection from mosquitoes that carry malaria at night. Anyone can experience Amisa’s life through her eyes in this 360-degree immersive film. Hope abounds as her family moves into a new home, gets treatment for malaria, and she and her siblings prepare to start school – none of which is possible without the life-saving protection of the bed nets you help to provide by supporting the Global Moms Relay.
You share, they give: Each time you ‘like’ or share this post via the social media icons on this post, watch this video or comment below, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000 divided equally between Shot@Life, UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets. The Global Moms Relay was created by the United Nations Foundation and Johnson & Johnson with support from BabyCenter, Fatherly, Global Citizen, and Charity Miles to help improve the lives of families around the globe. Share this post with the hashtags #GlobalMoms and #JNJ, and visit GlobalMomsRelay.org to learn more.
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