If you use Twitter, it's likely you've seen tongue in cheek tweets with the hashtag #whitepeopleproblems. You know, stuff that the privileged and entitled suffer like hot tub water splashing on your cigar and having to turn up the TV when the dishwasher is running. Sometimes, as in the second example, they're interchangeable with #firstworldproblems.
Want to know what's not a white or first world problem? Malaria. Frankly, I, ensconced in my Midwestern home, haven't thought much about malaria, as it is so far removed from me geographically. "The global geography of malaria is increasingly disproportionate. The vast majority of malaria cases and malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, which the director-general of the WHO, Margaret Chan, has called, 'the heartland of malaria' Meanwhile, 'outside Africa, the malaria map is shrinking, as more and more countries eliminate malaria from their territory,' says Chan." - Source
But, just like when you first get pregnant and you notice pregnancy everywhere, foundations and volunteers seeking to eradicate malaria are popping up in my line of sight. It all started with BzzAgent, interestingly enough. Yes, the same network I've mentioned in the past that facilitates word of mouth marketing for companies: I talk honestly about products I receive for free or at a discount. One of the BzzCampaigns I am part of is for The Domino Project. Created by Seth Godin, The Domino Project seeks to change the way books are published and shared. BzzAgents who are part of the campaign receive each new book prior to its release. Until this month. Instead, it's been encouraged to buy the current title, End Malaria, as $20 from the sale of every copy goes to Malaria No More, an international advocacy organization working to end malaria in 2015.
In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't yet bought the book, so I can't tell you if its worthwhile (outside of supporting a good cause.) The Amazon reviews are positive though. The book itself is not about malaria; in it, 62 leading writers and thinkers share their tips about great work. It's a motivational book figuratively wrapped with that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you do something good. When I do read it, I'll be certain to share my review.
If you don't want to buy the book on Amazon, but still feel compelled to do something or make a donation, research what feels right to you. I suggest reading about the work Mandy Moore is doing. I learned about her involvement with the cause via her Twitter feed. She's worked together with PSI (Population Services International) as an Ambassador and helped distribute life-saving mosquito nets to "the Central African Republic (CAR), a country with one of the highest childhood death rates in the world and where malaria is a primary cause of illness and death." Another resource in malaria prevention is Nothing but Nets, a foundation that espouses, "Send a net. Save a life."
Look, maybe you're like me and have causes that you support already. But that doesn't mean that we can't find new issues to become passionate about. I believe strongly that we are global citizens and have a responsibility to make this world a good place to live for all.