It’s extremely hot. Our plane has just landed in the Kakuma refugee camp on the South Sudanese border. I am traveling with the UN Foundation, Nothing But Nets and a group of amazing people, to bring awareness to the severe issue of malaria in this part of the world. Continue reading →
After surviving war, violence, tribal conflict, famine, loss of a child/sibling, etc…these mothers and children have come this far only to die from one small mosquito bite.
I am a mother of two amazing kids. These two amazing kids gave me the best mother’s day gift ever. They shared my heart, my love and my time with the children living as refugees in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. As part of a 10-person team with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, I went into the camp to raise awareness on the importance of bed net use to fight malaria and experience the stories and hardships of mother’s just like me willing to do whatever it takes to keep their families alive.
Post by Tim Gray, Editor-in-Chief of Variety, Inc.
When I told an American friend I was going to Kenya to help distribute anti-malaria nets, he said “Malaria?! Nobody gets malaria any more, do they?” Well, not much in America, but in Africa, a child dies each minute from the disease. That’s one of the facts I learned on our trip to the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya.
I have been out of Kakuma for over two days now, but what I witnessed will be seared into my mind for years to come. I saw a whirlwind of emotions during my two days at the refugee camp…heartache, pain, suffering, gratitude and loss. This is a place where less than 35% of children go to school, women sell sex for $1 to purchase body lotion, malaria is rampant and refugees trade their minimal food rations for other necessities like clothes, firewood and water containers. There is not enough clean water for the camp so water pumps are shut off except for two hours in the morning and afternoon.