Mosquito nets are like the quintessential charitable donation to the developing world. And that’s why the large donors like them. They are cheap. They are simple. They are light. The prevent malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. They require little instruction and little follow-up. They are mosquito nets, for crying out loud. Who wouldn’t want to use them, and who wouldn’t know how to use them? And what looks better to the donors than a mass-distribution of pieces of white netting that instantly save thousands of lives?
Well, we have discovered that these mosquito nets are used a lot, just not always quite in the way the donors and distributors intended. That’s okay, right? With the help of others working in Karamoja (you know you who you are), we’ve compiled a little list of what these all-purpose nets, ahem, excuse me, mosquito nets are being used for throughout the region. Here goes:
-to catch minnows
-to catch white-ants
-to cover young livestock
-to protect young tree saplings
-to cover this year’s grain harvest
-to strain homebrew beer
-to make the seat in homemade chairs
-to pad the ground for sitting or sleeping
-to tie grass for thatching roofs (see photo)
-to use as the rope for a tree swing
-to make wedding decorations
-to make the bride’s wedding veil
Oh, and of course:
-to keep mosquitoes off the body at night
So, besides all the advantages of mosquito nets listed in the first paragraph, add that they are incredibly useful for a wide variety of challenges life throws one’s way.
And THAT, my friends, is why the ALL-PURPOSE NET is the quintessential charitable donation to the developing world.