Dr. Bronner’s, the self-proclaimed “fighting soap company,” has declared war on malaria, a deadly disease that exacts an annual death toll of 1 million people worldwide, most of them young children living in Africa. Its first volley? A crowdfunding campaign to provide mosquito nets for thousands of families in the Asuom region of eastern Ghana, where the fifth-generation soap-making family harvests the palm oil it uses in its organic- and fair-trade-certified soaps. Every $10 donation will allow the company to buy and distribute a bed net— which world health experts say can reduce child mortality in malarial regions by 20 percent—to a family in need. Dr. Bronner’s is looking to raise $25,000, which it’ll match dollar for dollar for a minimum contribution of $50,000.
Spread by a single mosquito bite, malaria causes debilitating pain and prevents people infected with the disease from earning a living. In the district surrounding Asuom, an estimated 40 percent of the population contracts malaria each year, a quarter of which are children under the age of 5. Bed nets offer a simple yet cost-effective solution by creating a protective barrier against mosquito bites while families sleep.
In the district surrounding Asuom, an estimated 40 percent of the population contracts malaria each year.
“Our partners in Ghana have singled out malaria prevention as a top priority for their next community project and Dr. Bronner’s crowdfunding campaign seeks to raise enough funds to provide 5,000 bed nets to cover a shortfall in the government’s distribution program,” says Michael Bronner, the company’s vice president.
To thank donors, Dr. Bronner’s is offering a host of perks, including a special commemorative citrus-orange bar soap, lip-balm flavors previously available only in Asia, T-shirts, DVDs, a fair-trade gift basket, a tour of the Dr. Bronner’s soap plant, dinner with the Bronners, and even a trip to visit the palm-oil mill in Ghana.
Bonus: If the company exceeds its goal, it plans to use the additional funds to support other critical healthcare initiatives in the region, such as a new maternity ward at the local hospital in Asuom.