Paintings by Mary Dispenza

Nets for BabiesAbout Your Purchase: Nets for Babies

The mosquito-borne disease, malaria, causes fever, chills and a flu-like illness. If left untreated it can have serious consequences and can cause death. In 2010 655,000 people died of malaria, most in African countries.

Significant numbers of children die daily or become dreadfully disabled from malaria. But if children can be protected from the disease until they reach age five, there is an excellent chance they may live a long life. In addition to biological controls on mosquito-infested areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends each person use a Long Lasting Insecticide Net for sleeping in areas where malaria is endemic. Where such nets have been distributed there has been an associated dramatic decrease in malaria cases. Presently, treated nets need to be renewed approximately every three years to be effective in preventing malaria.

But what does malaria have to do with art?

Artist Mary Dispenza has worked in health clinics in Tanzania where there were many cases of malaria. She saw the need for treated nets first hand. Wanting to do something more to help after returning home, Mary launched ARTFrees, a gallery of her paintings and photographs. On ARTFrees Mary sells her art with the promise that 20% of each purchase is donated directly to Nets for Babies, a net distribution program managed by the Rotary Club of Tanzania.

As you enjoy your art, you are also helping several children lead healthier lives. Approximately six dollars covers the cost of a treated net for a child.

ARTFrees, it can even free a child from disease.