Singer/songwriter Katherine McPhee, and star of NBC’s SMASH, has declared Malaria No More her charity of choice for 2012 and has joined forces with the organization to fight the preventable and treatable disease, which kills one child every minute in Africa.
he is traveling to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a nation in Africa ravaged by the disease, to visit a school she helped to build through her McPhee Outreach project. The school had been flourishing for years – until Katharine got an email that some students were falling behind from missing school because of the malaria problem in the region. The headmaster was forced to close the school for a period of time because she had a close call with the often deadly disease and needed time to recover.
Katharine shares a dream with Malaria No More to end malaria deaths in Africa. Malaria is a deadly disease caused by a bite from a malarial mosquito that comes out at night. The good news is the disease is completely preventable and treatable with simple tools like a life-saving mosquito nets and medicine. Most families in need can’t afford these inexpensive tools – but that’s where your readers come in!
About the trip so far: Before Katharine reached the school she touched down in Accra to take part in a durbar, a formal gathering of village chiefs, where Katharine was the star. The ceremony began with a procession of chiefs and families from surrounding areas – their dance moves inspired Katharine to jump out her seat and join in on the fun.
After initial greetings and dancing, Katharine got to show off her acting skills as an assistant doctor in a secondary school play about a boy who contracted malaria. While the story didn’t have a happy ending, “Dr. McPhee” and her fellow hospital staff’s performance was met with applause from the audience.
Katharine was also gifted with a stool from the most senior village chief. The health director then closed the ceremony by thanking Katharine for her gift of Vestergaard Frandsen-made nets, saying, “They will be put to good use — and please know you will always have a home back here in Ghana!”