Science, Tech & Environment

Malaria website

Tom Hatfield created his first website in his room in England when he was 13, it was devoted to soccer. In 1999, ESPN bought that website for $40 million dollars. Now he's 25 years old and a senior at Harvard. He's now turned his attention to fighting malaria. He says it all came about during a stint volunteering in Africa last summer, and at one stop in Zambia, everyone either had lost a child to malaria or knew someone who had. He also encountered some of the barriers that fundraisers had in raising money for the cause and the experience with his first internet project taught him about using the internet as a solution. So his idea is to create a social networking site to connect potential donors and malaria researchers in Africa. He ran the idea past the Director of a global health organization in Toronto. He says young African doctors don't have a lot of support and thought this internet idea was a good one. Together they launched malariaengage.org, where you can read about individual malaria researchers and choose to make a donation and have a personal connection with the researcher. Right now seven researchers are highlighted on the website and a variety of projects. Ideally, the website will not only raise money for the cause, but also raise awareness. This Harvard technology analyst says the website is great in theory but may prove hard in practice because malaria doesn't have a lot of impact on college-age American kids. The creators of the site say the site has already been successful in its first few days of existence though.

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