Mob Malaria began the fall of 2013, when freshmen Stephen Turban and Lily Zhang met to participate in the Harvard Defeating Malaria Challenge. The pair kept coming back to the same question: How do you get a campaign for malaria to go viral? They realized that it’s not that people don’t care about malaria--they generally do--it’s just that not many people will go out of their way to do something for malaria.
But a lot of people will go out of their way to have fun.
So why not combine the two?
The idea at first seems counterintuitive: after all, what is fun about a disease that kills? True, the issue itself is heavy, but Stephen and Lily argue a campaign around it need not be. This is where Mob Malaria comes in. Traditional campaigns focus on tragedy; Mob Malaria focuses on fun. This is a new type of awareness campaign: one that is not only memorable, but shareable.