The organizations, according to an April 24 press statement, will work together "to raise awareness among millions of Broadway fans about how they can help stop malaria, a disease that kills a child every 60 seconds and is spread by a single mosquito bite."
Since last June, more than 130,000 refugees have entered South Sudan and neighboring countries to escape fighting on the border of Sudan. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing food, water and shelter; however, in a country where malaria is the leading cause of death among children under five, the refugee families in South Sudan need insecticide-treated bed nets, which create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night. A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver and to educate the recipient on its proper use.
To meet this need, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign launched a nationwide appeal to send 100,000 life-saving bed nets to help these families sleep safely. As a major partner of Nothing But Nets, the Nederlander Organization—joined by Disney —is encouraging audiences at many of their theatres across the country to send nets and save lives in South Sudan.
“When my grandfather founded the Nederlander Company in 1912, thousands of people were still suffering from malaria around the U.S. every year,” said James L. Nederlander, President of the Nederlander Organization, in a statement.
“The Lion King has connected millions of Americans to Africa,” added Thomas Schumacher, President of Disney Theatrical Group. “It’s fitting that this story gives its fans an opportunity to help fight malaria—a leading cause of death among children on the continent. We welcome Nothing But Nets to The Lion King in celebration of its fifth anniversary and in recognition of the campaign’s lifesaving efforts to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa." “We’re thrilled to have both the Broadway and national touring company of Disney’s The Lion King, the Nederlander Organization, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS join Nothing But Nets to help save lives from malaria,” said the UN Foundation’s Vice President of Global Partnerships, Elizabeth Gore. “In five years, the Nothing But Nets campaign has brought together the world’s largest group of partners and grassroots supporters to send nets to save lives from malaria; today we’re excited to bring that buzz to the Broadway community.”
To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $40 million to distribute more than 6 million nets to families throughout Africa. To learn more and to donate, visit www.NothingButNets.net.