Eleven-year-old Jade, in Northern Territory, Australia, recently undertook a heartwarming project to raise money for one of our recommended charities.
Jade’s year six class was studying the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and when asked to focus on an area in more depth, Jade chose Good Health and Well-Being in Africa. Through her research, she learned that malaria was a significant issue.
The students were asked to each create a project about their focus area and present it to the school. Jade decided to run a fundraiser, as she “really wanted to try make a direct difference to those who needed it.” As she searched for a charity that would help her do that, she came across The Life You Can Save’s recommendation of Against Malaria Foundation, and she decided to devote her project to supporting AMF in their work to responsibly and inexpensively deliver long-lasting anti-malarial bednets to susceptible populations.
Jade “wanted to do something that was different to other fundraisers” and decided to apply her love of drawing to her project. “By using art work,” she says, “I was able to spread the message more effectively regarding helping others.”
She emailed friends and family in Australia and around the world with this message, which explains her project and reflects her impressive desire to make a difference:
“Would you like to buy a 10cm x 10cm canvas for $2.50 each – I will decorate your canvas with artwork or words which you can choose from the list below! The canvases will all be joined together and displayed at the school for the rest of the term. Your money will go to buying mosquito nets for families in Africa. I am aiming to raise $120 to buy 40 nets! Choice of artwork: Rainbow Smiley face, Cricket bat and ball, Flowers, Music notes, Ocean with birds, Sun. Choice of Words: Save the kids, Help others, Stop diseases, Health and well being, Healthy lifestyle, Health care for all, Look out for each other, No more malaria.Your first name will be displayed on the canvas you purchase. Can you please let me know if you would like to support this great fundraiser and what art work or words you would like on each of your canvases.”
The response was immediate and enthusiastic—she sold out in two days. Jade says, “I couldn’t believe how quickly all my canvases sold. I think people really liked the idea of them having their own piece of artwork.”
Here is the speech Jade later delivered at school:
Today I am talking about how we can make a benefit to peoples, lives around the world who are suffering from a terrible issue of poor health and well-being. Poor health and well-being can also be a cause of poverty which can lead to suffering which no one should have to live with.
For us in Australia and other developed countries we are very lucky to receive good medication, clean water, healthy diets, safe housing, health care, good education and the opportunity to have a job that we earn enough money to survive. A lot of us take this for granted. We only have a lot of these benefits because we are a developed country as well as America, the UK, Canada and so on.
I personally don’t believe it is fair how not all countries around the world are fully developed yet. If we don’t continue to provide the countries that are still developing with ongoing aid and donations, we will never break the cycle of poor health and well-being and we will lose more lives.
I am sure most of you would already be aware that disease is a significant issue in a lot of developing countries, so for my Good Health and Well-Being project I have decided to raise money to buy mosquito nets for families in Africa, so that I can help prevent malaria. Malaria is a disease caused by mosquitos and if a person gets malaria in the worst case it can cause a coma, disabilities and death. So, by providing African families that need it with mosquito nets we can help prevent disease.
I have raised $120 which will buy 41 bed nets.
I have raised money by selling small canvases amongst my family and friends at a cost of $2.50 each, those that purchased a canvas were able to choose a happy picture and positive words from a list I provided. I then drew their choice on their canvas. All the small canvases have now been joined on this one big canvas and I will display it where others can see. At the end of the school term the canvases will be provided to those that purchased them. The canvases were donated by my family.
The use of technology has assisted me to sell my canvasses quickly, I have used email, WhatsApp and text messages. I sold and created my canvasses in 48 hours. The project has enabled me to spread awareness about those that need our help. The canvasses have been purchased by family and friends that live around the world including, the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales, Bali, California and the UK.
Thank you for listening and I hope you have enjoyed my presentation.
Jade, many thanks for demonstrating such compassion for those who, as you so insightfully note, endure suffering which no one should have to live with. Thanks also to your teacher and your parents for supporting your inspiring creativity and spirit.