Jubilee and Olympic mosquito nets to save lives in Africa
Thousands of mosquito nets emblazoned with the Union Jack left over from last year’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympic celebrations will now be helping to save lives in Africa after they were donated through a humanitarian match-making website.
Mother-of-two Yvonne DeCoteau runs mosquitonets4U on her own from her home in Barnet, Hertfordshire.
She ordered the patriotic canopies with the aim of selling them through her online shop during the Games and Jubilee in 2012 but delays in shipping meant she didn’t get them in time.
After keeping them in a lock-up for six months, the 44-year-old decided to offer them through Global Hand, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, which provides matches all over the world for donated goods through the internet.
As well as mosquito nets with Union Jacks on them, she also had thousands made with the Jamaican Flag to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence in August.
Within six minutes of the offer going on the Global Hand website, the nets were matched with a charity in Africa, with another request for them appearing within the hour.
Now 1,000 will be used in rural communities in Cameroon after the Research Institute for Development, Communication and School Partnership said they wanted them.
A further 1,000 will be used to help prevent Malaria in Nigeria after being picked up by charity World In Need.
Yvonne, who trained as a legal secretary, before setting up the shop to work around raising her children, said it was a privilege to make the donation.
She said, “It is nice to know that the nets could have been sold and made me money but knowing that the nets are saving lives is priceless in itself. It is a wonderful feeling.”
She said she fell into selling the mosquito nets four years ago after spending time on Ebay, happening upon a business selling the nets and then deciding to try to make a living out of it herself.
She said she felt compelled to donate the nets, adding, “I just think it is amazing. I could have gone into any niche market.
“As a Christian, I believe God has given me this particular business, a unique product, which are not perishable, to help others.”
Ben Solanky, Global Hand UK Director said: “Malaria kills and these nets are powerful aids in the global campaign to fight the disease.
“Partnerships between groups willing to share and those willing to use them are vital to address the issues we face as a planet.”
Article thanks to Libby Rabbetts, Mighty Fish Media.