Brother, sister set goal of raising $1,000 to help children in Africa

by: REVIEW PHOTO: CLIFF NEWELL - Anna Inustrial was on hand to support her son, Gio, and daughter, Emma, when they set up a table outside of the Lake Oswego Public Library to raise money to help kids in Africa.When the school year approaches, most kids choose to get in all the swimming, camping and other kinds of fun stuff they can in the final days of summer vacation.

Gio Streano and his sister, Emma, decided to do something different. They want to raise $1,000 to help kids in Africa fight malaria. Their wish list includes buying 100 mosquito nets.

“That’s an enormous amount of money, but they’re going to keep plugging away at it,” said their proud mother, Anna Inustrial.

Gio and Emma were ready for action last week. They were standing in front of the Lake Oswego Public Library with a little table, a collection box, a sign and fundraising thermometer. Plus a high sense of optimism.

“We got the idea when we watched the movie ‘Mary and Martha,’” said Gio, a 9-year-old student at Hallinan Elementary School.

“It made us want to help the children in Africa,” said Emma, a 7-year-old second-grader-to-be at Hallinan.

“Mary and Martha” is a heart tugger about two women who experience the loss of their sons to malaria while in Africa. When they meet they decide to team up, go back to Africa and fight a disease that kills tens of thousands of African students every year.

“They were really affected by the movie, especially Emma,” said Inustrial. “They came to me and said they wanted to raise money to help the children in Africa. I thought we’d give it a try.”

Since starting their project the Streano kids have gotten an education about malaria. What they have found makes them even more determined to raise $1,000.

“One bite from a mosquito can cause an infection that leads to death,” Inustrial said. “Emma and Gio have found that a net could make the difference between life and death. You can buy three nets for $18.57.”

“One child in Africa dies from malaria every minute in Africa,” Emma said. “Most of them are under 5 years old.”

Emma and Gio Streano are showing you are never too young to help others. They already have some sales experience, having successfully sold dog biscuits from their driveway at home.

“I wonder where they can go with this,” Inustrial said. “Maybe Hallinan.”

But, like she said, her kids are going to keep plugging away until a lot of African children have nets over their beds.

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