A dozen mothers and daughters wearing dresses plunged into the ocean on a cold Sunday morning near the Oceanside Pier, part of an annual Mother’s Day effort to fight malaria in Africa.
ONE San Diego, a sub-organization that fights preventable disease and extreme poverty, organized the third annual Mother’s Day Fancy Dress Swim, which began at 10 a.m. north of the pier.
“It starts off as a tough sell,” said Marlaine Cover, ONE San Diego coordinator and event founder. “But the nice part is once you do it, it’s a ton of fun. The women today, their hearts were full of love, and you just feel good.”
The World Swim Against Malaria-aligned event raised over $1,100, all of which helped fund 250 insecticide-treated bed nets already purchased, Cover said.
The bed nets, which each cost $5, spare mothers in Africa “the agony of losing their children to malaria,” according to the event’s website.
Although hoping for more participants, Cover considered the event a success.
She said multiple children likely use each bed net, so their 250 nets will "easily" save over 500 African children.
“That’s a good day by noon on Mother’s Day as far as I'm concerned,” Cover said. “You can’t have a bad day doing that ... It's a great way to spend Mother's Day. We hope it becomes more popular."
In 2008, malaria caused nearly one million deaths, mostly among African children, according to the World Health Organization.