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Spread the Net against malaria

Each year, malaria kills an estimated 438,000 people, and it remains the leading cause of death of children under 5 in Africa.

Since 2007, Spread the Net has helped protect the lives of almost 32 million people by contributing to the delivery of over 15.3 million malaria-preventing bed nets to families in Africa.

Rick Mercer speaks to students gathered in a school Gym

Spread the Net
Student Challenge

Join the global movement to end malaria and participate in the Challenge!

Co-founded by Rick Mercer and Belinda Stronach in 2006, the Spread the Net Student Challenge is a friendly competition between Canadian schools to raise funds for bed nets. The top fundraising elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools receive a visit from Rick Mercer himself and appear on an episode of the Rick Mercer Report!

See the impact we've made and meet some of the people who've benefited through the support of the Spread the Net Student Challenge!
Are you ready for the Challenge?

Important Dates:

Registration opens: April 25

Official Launch on Rick Mercer Report: October 2016

Fundraising deadline: February 20, 2017

Winners announced: March 2017

Sign your school up for the challenge

Hear from Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer challenges you to unite your school in the global fight against malaria in this Rick Mercer Report segment.

2016 Student Challenge winners

Macville Public School in Caledon ON raised $11,454
Balmoral Hall in Winnipeg, MB raised $12,000
Algonquin College, Ottawa, raised $3,364
The Wild Card submission winner this year is Central Algoma Secondary School in Desbarats, ON.

Thanks to all the participating schools of the 2016 Spread the Net Student Challenge! Thanks to your support we were able to raise over $80,000 that will help distribute over 8,000 bed nets directly helping more than 16,000 people!

Other ways to join the global fight against malaria

Rick Mercer and students hold up a Plan International Canada Spread The Net banner

Not a school, but still passionate about the global fight to end malaria? We welcome individuals, families and community groups to take on the challenge and support the Spread the Net initiative in your own way! For more information about how you can champion this important cause, reach out to

Bed nets: The solution

Insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent the transmission of malaria.

  • One bed net can protect 2 people for up to 3 years.
  • Thousands of lives could be saved every year if all children under the age of 5 in Africa slept under a bed net.

Download our malaria educational resource for teachers - complete with lesson plan suggestions!

Download our "Ask a sponsor" letter template - and get your community involved in supporting your cause!



Malaria was eradicated in Canada over 50 years ago.

More facts about malaria