Saving Lives | Teen Ink

Saving Lives

December 7, 2008
By Anonymous

A junior girl saving lives one net at a time. How can you help in this fight against malaria? When talking to the creator of Bite Back about the organization, she said that through Compassion she was able to head up an affordable campaign that was easy for teenagers to participate in without having to worry about traveling to Africa. The nets that are purchased to send to fight malaria are only ten dollars, a price teenagers can manage, in an effort to help save lives.

The creator first was inspired to start Bite Back after a vacation to Africa in the eighth grade. While in Africa, she fell in love with the African people and this love caused her to want to help when she came back to America because she knew people should not be dying from a very treatable and preventable disease. At first, she didn't know what she could possibly do considering she was half a world away. Bite Back is part of an organization known as Compassion, who the creator contacted to get help in starting at campaign. At first, she did not realize she would be completely in charge and run the campaign, but soon realized that Compassion wants teens to get involved… really involved.

So far, Bite Back has managed to raise enough money to help 1,000 families. About $600 was raised during the California Pizza night GACS did on Tuesday, September 23. Over all, Bite Back has raised over $100,000, total and hopes to make the funds even higher.

The creator's efforts should be considered an inspiration to all teens. Her idea started off a small one and came into a huge campaign helping to get rid of malaria in Africa. Bite Back is a campaign to help save lives. 90% of all the illnesses in children reported to hospitals are malaria related, that's not including those who cannot afford to go to hospitals to get their children treated. I asked her if she had any advice to other teens wishing to get involved, whether in the fight against malaria or any other organization or effort. Her advice was, "Even if an idea seems crazy and you can't do it, just try. It's better to try ideas and not work out than to keep quiet and not to work out. You need to speak up."

Malaria is a big problem in Africa and the most heartbreaking thing is it is an epidemic killing tons of people and it is preventable. Some of you may not know what malaria is or how it is caused. Malaria is a disease that is an infection of the blood caused by a parasite protozoa called Plasmodium. In other words, malaria is caused by mosquitoes.

Malaria is a preventable disease and Jordan should be commended for her efforts in the fight against malaria. As a school, we have already done many different things to raise money, but we can do more. All it takes is getting in a group of ten people and donate one dollar each. Every person donating one dollar each will mean one net can be purchased. All it takes is one net to save a family from getting malaria. One dollar per person saves lives. If we work together as a school, imagine all the lives we can save and the different we would make in Africa in the fight against malaria.

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