Naomi Kodama, sophomore in high school from Chesterfield, MO, USA, is a dedicated champion in the fight against malaria. She has made various trips to malaria endemic communities in Botswana, Mali, South Africa and Zimbabwe to see the disease firsthand. On these trips she brings stuffed toys to the children in need as an act of kindness from one child to another. She also participates in bed net distributions to the communities in these countries that need it most. Back in the United States and other countries, Naomi also speaks to students of all ages raising awareness and funding for the children and their families in Africa who are affected by malaria.
Her passion for sending nets to save lives started at an early age. When it was time for Naomi to tell her parents what gift she was hoping to receive for her seventh birthday, she told them that she didn't want any gifts at all. Instead, she hoped to use her birthday to help others. Naomi wanted to have a birthday party where guests could make donations for life-saving bed nets. "There are people who barely have anything and we need to help them," she wrote in the party invitation. And she has done the same since then (2006) and continues to inspire her friends and family members to do the same.