When asked to name the world’s most deadly animal, many immediately conjure images of the great white shark from Jaws or encountering a snake in the Australian outback.
Few would imagine the whine of a rogue mosquito circling their bedroom on a warm summer evening. That high-pitched buzzing that starts faintly, then gradually gets closer and louder until it consumes our attention.
Considered the deadliest animal on the planet, mosquitoes spread infectious disease such as malaria, dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, or Zika. And kill more people than any other creature in the world.
In a collective swat, seniors across Canada have joined the fight against Malaria by putting “Pedal to The Metal”.
Why Seniors Are Pedaling Against Malaria
There are numerous reasons why people fundraise for charity:
- a personal connection,
- the good feeling of giving back, or
- to support a loved one.
For some, it’s a great incentive to keep up their physical activity while participating in a cause. For others, it’s simply to save a life.
Malaria kills one child every 60 seconds – that’s about 1,000 children every day, and the risk is now even higher due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most effective way to fight these tiny insects that kill about 400,000 people every year and cause more than 200 million to fall ill is to sleep under a mosquito net.
Since the mosquitoes responsible for malaria transmission are “night biters”, sleeping under a net provides protection against this capable vector of human disease. The net protects people in two ways: by providing a mechanical barrier between the insect and the human; and, by killing mosquitoes that come into contact with the insecticide-treated net.
To raise awareness about the need for action, seniors in ASC retirement residences across Canada are pedalling hard. From April 1st through 23rd, they are collecting sponsors to raise funds for the purchase of lifesaving sleeping nets through the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF).
Where Your Donation Goes
The Against Malaria Foundation is a well-established U.K.-based charity with a simple mission: buy mosquito nets, give them to people who need them, and make sure they’re being used.
Ranked as one of the world’s leading high-impact, cost-effective charities by GiveWell, AMF also tops the list at Charity Intelligence Canada. It brings evidence-based programs with a highly measurable demonstrated impact to developing countries. While most charities claim that they “make a difference” in the lives of those they work with, AMF actually delivers.
When you make a donation, every cent of it is spent on mosquito nets. None of your money goes towards fundraising costs. Their CEO does not take a salary. They don’t even have an office. And their administrative costs are covered by pro bono work from major corporations.
More importantly, Against Malaria “doesn’t just distribute the nets and walk away”, says CEO Rob Mather, “we work with governments and monitor use”. Every 9 months, they conduct unannounced visits to households make sure that the mosquito nets are being used properly.
In addition to the humanitarian impact, there is also an economic one: the foundation creates jobs locally and reduces healthcare budgets in affected countries. To learn more, click this link to watch a video presentation by Rob Mather.
Consistently at the top of every “best charity list”, Mather makes it particularly easy to donate. He shows you in real time where your money is going and how it’s being used. He and his team aggressively sought charity status around the world so that your donations tax-deductible.
“Simply put, mosquito nets are the single easiest way to alleviate human suffering, and this charity is the best at distributing them.” – National Post
Putting Pedal to the Metal
Residents in our retirement communities loved cycling around the world so much during the Going the Distance event in February that we decided to keep riding and give back at the same time.
During the Pedal to the Metal challenge, seniors will engage in some friendly intra-residence rivalry as they collect donations and sponsors in their quest to complete 27 tours in 23 days. Using a stationary bike or pedal exerciser, they will take virtual cycle trips around malaria-endemic countries.
Each day during the event includes a cycle ride, information about the destination, and the chance to experience local foods. Get out your fundraising passport, follow along, and get it stamped in these countries:
- April 1-2: India
- April 5-7: Turkey
- April 8-10: Philippines
- April 14-16: Malaysia
- April 19-23: Thailand
On April 23, our residents will mark World Malaria Day in Thailand with the final bike tour, seated Muay Thai Boxing, archery, and a Ghost Mask festival.
Creating a Buzz at All Seniors Care
Pedal to the Medal is just one of the ways that we are redefining senior living and keeping your loved ones active. If you’re interested in joining one of our retirement communities, or suggesting that someone you know join us, click here for more details about our new Whitby residence or other assisted living retirement homes near you.
To make a donation, find out how many nets have been purchased, and the number of lives you’ve saved: https://www.againstmalaria.com/asc