Mandy Moore Reflects On Her Trip To Cameroon
Check out these pictures of Mandy Moore visiting Cameroon from her trip last month!
The 27-year-old actress and Population Services International (PSI) ambassador traveled to the African country with members of Congress and other political figures to promote aid and malaria prevention.
Mandy recently chatted with JustJared.com about the experience and how others can get involved in this cause. Check it out below!
JustJared.com: How did you decide to go to Cameroon?
Mandy Moore: The trip to Cameroon came about because of the historical nature of the net distribution campaign the country is undertaking. The goal is to cover the entire country – providing mosquito nets to everyone who needs them. Malaria is the leading killer of kids under 5 in Cameroon and it’s entirely preventable. I joined the trip because PSI is working with the government of Cameroon on this distribution. Returning home, I hope to raise additional funding to help fill a gap in the net distribution.
Click inside for the full Mandy Moore interview..
JJ: What was the top highlight for you?
MM: I think the top highlight is always watching and taking part in the actual work getting done – in this case not only delivering the insecticide nets but actually helping to hang a few yourself. This trip also included a delegation of Congress, people who were seeing first hand the work that PSI and U.N. do together and that was so great to see the impact it had on them knowing they would return to the U.S. and report on the success we are having.
JJ: Was this your first time visiting Africa? How would you summarize the experience?
MM: My first trip to Africa was actually to southern Sudan about 2 1/2 years ago. It was much more of an educational trip for me to learn first hand how PSI is structured, the distribution process as well as the obstacles at hand. Last year, I went to Central African Republic taking a bit more of an active role, meeting with government figures and, in turn, bringing back reports and stories to educate people here. Every trip has been so rewarding in so many ways but also humbling in that there is still so much more work to be done.
JJ: What were you most surprised by during this trip?
MM: It never ceases to amaze me that while Malaria is the number one cause of death in countries like Cameroon. It is 100% preventable and curable. That just doesn’t make sense to me and until we cover every family with nets, I don’t think it ever will make sense. I do think we will get there, though!
JJ: Why is the anti-malaria campaign a cause important to you?
MM: I think when anyone in their right mind learns of how simple a solution is to a problem that is so monumental and spread so vastly, it would only make sense to take action. I have longed to use my platform to really help a cause in as big a manner as possible. Learning of PSI’s efforts and the need for help was a no-brainer for me.
JJ: How has this experience affected you?
MM: I hope this experience and my efforts are affecting other people and their lives more than mine. Having said that, it has been a real eye-opener about what my purpose is. I am so fortunate to live the life I do, to have the job I have and if the platform I have is but one way I can use it to other people’s advantages, my life is that much more complete.
JJ: How can everyone else help support this cause?
JJ: People can visit NothingButNets.net and make a contribution – $10 to send a net and save a life. You can also take some swings for PSI in the State Farm Go To Bat program. Supporters have helped PSI win three weekly $18,000 donations in the program. That $54,000 will help fill the gap of 2 million nets needed to provide universal coverage in Cameroon.
JJ: Are there any plans to return to Cameroon or Africa in the future? Where would you like to go next with your work for PSI?
MM: PSI works in 76 countries around the world. I go where I can be most helpful to PSI and the people we serve. I am especially drawn to PSI’s child survival work, so I know my next trip will focus on that. I will be in NY representing PSI at the Clinton Global Initiative. I’ll be speaking about why global health is also an economic investment. It’s a learning journey for me, the more educated on these issues I become, the more motivated I am.