My friends, I would like to ask you to pledge a few minutes of your time to vote for Marie da Silva who has been nominated for the 2008 CNN Hero of the Year. Just like me, Marie comes from the small African nation of Malawi where 10 people die of Aids every hour.One million out of a population of 13 million are infected by the HIV/AIDS virus.Over 1 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. Less than 10% of Malawian teenagers go to Secondary School. Moved by these alarming statistics, Marie founded the Jacaranda Foundation in September 2005 with the hope of raising the awareness and funds needed to educate orphans in Malawi.This organization believes that caring for children and educating them will reduce the AIDS pandemic in Malawi.
Marie, herself, lost lost 14 family members, including her father and two brothers, to HIV/AIDS. She has been working as a nanny in the United States for the past twelve years. The Jacaranda Foundation runs a school in her family’s house in Malawi.200 children, most of whom are AIDS orphans, receive porridge every morning and education, free of charge. Marie funds this effort almost entirely herself, sending $1,000, about one-third of her monthly paycheck, to pay the salaries of 12 teachers and the headmaster, and purchase whatever supplies she can afford. Several of her fellow nannies have even gotten involved, donating $10 a month to her foundation. Read the full story here.
Remember to vote for Marie today!You can vote multiple times, each vote counts. Please forward this message to all your contacts. If you are a blogger, I encourage you to publish a post on this issue.Voting closes on November 20th, 6AM ET.