Africa is the continent of the future, with 60% of the population under 25 years old it has the youngest population in the world. But a deadly disease is stealing this future - Malaria affects mainly young children, killing a child every two minutes.
There is also hope: malaria is a preventable disease. In a study published in the Lancet, 41 leading scientists have stated that malaria can be eradicated by 2050. At the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, all 53 country leaders committed to halve malaria by 2023. But only if governments live up to their commitments and put real action in place. Progress is currently not at track and heads of state need to be reminded to meet that ambitious goal through constructive public pressure by the population that is affected the most: African youth.
NGO campaigns in the past have focused on the problem and plight of Malaria, applying an outside-in perspective led by western celebrity endorsements. African youth who grew up with Malaria as an inevitable fact of life had lost hope in a malaria-free future. The approach didn’t resonate with this generation and delivered short lived results.
Malaria No More asked us to create a way to bring the African youth together and pressure world leaders to put Malaria back on the political agenda - to make sure they will be the last generation to ever see Malaria.
Draw The Line Against Malaria is a movement led by the generation that will end malaria.
To end Malaria, African youth needed to demand action from heads of state. But growing up with Malaria as an inevitable fact of life had made youth lose hope in a malaria-free future. To bring this hope back, we made the mission of ending Malaria part of African youth culture.
To tap into African culture, we partnered with renowned Nigerian Artist and Activist Laolu Sebanjo. Together we created a modular line pattern that would represent our movement. The Muundo combines traditional line art with technology to create a collective artwork that demands a malaria free future from world leaders.
We built the movement line by line. Inviting celebrities, influencers and digital African youth to add their own line to a digital platform and face filter, turning the pattern into a collective statement against malaria.
The core of the execution was the visual language that allowed everyone to add their line to a collective message: The Muundo. The messages were further personalised with a modular headline: “Malaria, we’re too _____ for you”. The Muundo informed every element of this movement.
The campaign and The Muundo have created a movement, with over 1.4 billion impressions to date and over 3 million dollars in free media space donated to support the campaign, generating over 7.5 million video views and over 2 million site visits. The digital platform, face filter and social influencer strategy generated 24.7 million campaign engagements. The movement has been featured on BBC, CNN, CNBC, Al Jazeera, SKY, MTV, Nickelodeon and many more.
The campaign inspired and emboldened a generation to believe in a future without malaria – 69% of youth surveyed believe that malaria can be eliminated in their country. More importantly, even in a year dominated by COVID-19, world leaders listened and have renewed their commitments to end malaria.
We didn’t just demand change, to track the progress towards commitments from political leaders, we launched the Commonwealth Malaria Tracker.
After a meeting of the Commonwealth Health Ministers on 20-21 May 2021, the following statement was released: “We agree to accelerate progress towards the target of halving malaria by 2023 and resolve to continue our commitment to combating the disease across the Commonwealth in order to achieve regional and global malaria targets for 2030. We welcome the initiation of having a ‘Commonwealth Malaria Tracker’ and observe that this will assist in monitoring targets and identify areas for improvement.”