The Story of N2M – How It All Began
N2M stands for ‘No 2 Malaria’ and is an initiative founded by Leeni Ojaniemi in Ghana, West Africa. Her background working in contemporary art in London took her to West Africa for the first time in 2011 to explore the emerging contemporary art across Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali, Nigeria, and Ghana.
On her trip however she was unfortunate enough to contract malaria even whilst on anti-malarial tablets as a preventative measure. Leeni was able to recognise her symptoms early and fortunate enough to seek the help of a doctor. After blood tests and a positive diagnosis for malaria she started the life-saving medication unavailable to many.
After having fully recovered Leeni realised that she wanted to do something to help others in danger of contracting malaria and concluded that the most effective way to avoid this disease is by using a treated mosquito net at night.
This is when the idea for N2M bracelets was born.
Leeni permanently moved to the Ghanaian capital of Accra in 2012 to continue working with contemporary African art and developing the idea of N2M bracelets further. Working on the African soil again she was constantly reminded about how strongly malaria affected the daily lives of many people.
She discovered that there was a way in which she could combine her work with the local arts whilst participating in the effort of eliminating malaria and founded N2M bracelets where every bracelet purchased would directly distribute a treated mosquito net to an individual in need in Ghana.
“In many areas of Ghana the nearest clinic is far away and many people aren’t able to make the journey. Only few can afford the trip and by the time they would receive a diagnosis and begin medication, it may be too late. There is no vaccine against malaria so prevention is key and this is where I would like to make a difference with N2M – to protect lives by distributing as many mosquito nets as possible”
- Leeni Ojaniemi