Gibault freshman Therese Beabout traveled to California on Jan. 31 to represent the group NETwork Against Malaria at the Ramona Convent, a top interdependent Catholic girls school in Los Angeles.
Beabout spoke to more than 250 students during their service Friday event, which was designed to empower students to see that they can help others and make a difference in the world.
Beabout told the story of how five girls, the McGlynn sisters from Belleville, developed NETwork Against Malaria into a nationwide non-profit that saves the lives of Ugandan children by providing malaria bed nets. The students then made bracelets to be sold to raise money for malaria nets.
Beabout has been a part of NETwork since she was 7 years old. She is now a NETwork apprentice and public speaker. She spoke to thousands of youth at the National Catholic Youth Conference last fall, and was honored to be invited to speak in California.
NETwork chapters across the nation make bracelets, necklaces and upcycled items, which are sold at various events. For every $10 raised, a malaria net is purchased, which can save the life of three Ugandan children.
Three Ugandan siblings can sleep under one net.
In Uganda, one child dies of malaria every five minutes. Malaria nets save lives, but the children are too poor to buy nets. NETwork Against Malaria goes into schools and gives malaria nets to the school children in Uganda.
“I find my happiness in helping others,” Beabout said. “Not only can I change the lives of the people in Uganda, but I can inspire others to find this same happiness by speaking to others about NETwork. They can be inspired to save a life just by stringing some beads. Their joy brings me joy and saves the lives of thousands in need.”