NetsforLife®, Episcopal Relief & Development's program partnership to fight malaria, has received the Global Business Coalition Excellence in Business Action Award for outstanding Partnership and Collective Action.
The award was presented on June 8 in Washington, D.C., during the Global Business Coalition Awards Dinner.
The Global Business Coalition was established in 2001, when Kofi Annan, then-Secretary General of the United Nations, called for more business involvement in fighting AIDS. Today, the coalition's 200-plus corporate members engage with a network of governmental and civil society partners to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Awards for Excellence in Business Action Dinner was part of GBC's 2010 annual conference, Work Smarter: Global Health Action. Special appearances at the dinner included Annie Lennox; Ashley Judd, board of directors, Population Services International; and Michele Sidibé, executive director, UNAIDS. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius gave a keynote address and awards were presented by Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, and Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
"This award is a visible reminder of the real benefit that this innovative partnership represents," said the Rt. Rev. Robert J. O'Neill, board chair of Episcopal Relief & Development. "Whether we work in the corporate or religious sphere, we all have considerable gifts and resources to bring to the table and put to use saving lives and restoring the God-given dignity of every human being. I am grateful beyond words to all our partners both here and in Africa."
Managed by Episcopal Relief & Development, NetsforLife® is a collaborative partnership of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the ExxonMobil Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Starr International Foundation and the White Flowers Foundation that implements integrated malaria prevention in 17 malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
"The collaborative partnership NetsforLife® is a shining example of the possibilities that come from close collaboration between businesses and NGOs," said Shaun Walsh, executive director of NetsforLife®. "The program's core partnership is a critical one, forged out of recognition that diverse perspectives and strengths are necessary in the fight to eliminate malaria."
The success of the NetsforLife® program is a result of relationships with a network of faith-based organizations working on the ground in Africa. As active members of local communities, these organizations have helped the program reach 5 million people through malaria messaging, the distribution of nearly 2 million nets and the training of over 14,000 malaria control agents.
NetsforLife® empowers communities by providing life-saving prevention training and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets at no cost to remote communities. The program's methodology is to collaborate with national malaria programs to mobilize, train and educate volunteers in working together to eliminate the disease and to develop a communitywide understanding of the protective value of nets and the right way to use and maintain them.
The program partnership's next challenge will be to meet its goal of mobilizing 30,000 volunteers and distributing 7 million nets in sub-Saharan Africa by 2013.
To support the NetsforLife® program, please visit www.er-d.org or call 1.800.334.7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058. Please put "NetsforLife®/Malaria" in the memo line of all checks.