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West Middle student honored by the United Nations

"Toys have souls," says West Middle student Naomi Kodama, 13. "They need to live happy lives with children who love them."

She has traveled to Africa with her parents to make toy donations. "People tend to concentrate on food and shelter for aid, but toys can bring so much happiness," she says.

Naomi also raises money to fight malaria and inspires her friends to do the same. For her efforts, Naomi was recently named the 25th Champion of the United Nations Foundation’s "Nothing But Nets," a global campaign to combat malaria. “Nothing But Nets” provides bed netting to children in Africa to protect them against mosquitoes carrying malaria.  

Naomi has also traveled to Germany and Africa to promote “Nothing But Nets,” and was recently featured on KSDK channel 5. The story pointed out that Naomi is in good company as the 25th champion of "Nothing But Nets." Other champions have included former president George Bush. Naomi has received thank-you letters from Ted Turner and Ray Chambers, the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy for malaria.

Watch the story on KSDK channel 5>>