The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 25, 2008

President Bush Visits Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Connecticut
Northwest Boys & Girls Club
Hartford, Connecticut

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11:30 A.M. EDT

MS. DOOLITTLE: Actually, Mr. President, I know that you went to Africa. I got a great chance to go to Africa with your wife and kind of see firsthand in Zambia what the disease does to people and how much they are appreciative of these bed nets. I know you got to travel, so I'd love it if you'd share with us what --

THE PRESIDENT: Sure. I think the thing that I would start with was how appreciative people in Africa were of the fact that total strangers cared about their lives. You see, if you are a mother who is holding a baby that is sick because of a mosquito bite, it creates a lot of hopelessness, and you really wonder whether anybody cares. And the fact that total strangers would come together -- in Boys and Girls Clubs, or basketball teams, or singers -- and care about them really lifts their spirits.

President George W. Bush gestures as he addresses his remarks in honor of Malaria Awareness Day Friday, April 25, 2008, during his visit to the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Conn., where the Boys & Girls members were learning about the cause and prevention of malaria. Earlier in the day President Bush signed a proclamation on the United States commitment to help fight malaria in Africa and around the world. White House photo by Chris Greenberg And so it's been really interesting to travel to Africa and see how appreciative the people in Africa are of the United States and its citizens. Isn't it interesting that -- there's a call to love your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself, and that's what you're doing. And I'm here really to thank all the people, not only here but across the country, for being so supportive of a humanitarian effort that is worthy of a great nation.

So the trip was great. It was really a lot of fun. You know what it's like there.

MS. DOOLITTLE: I do, I do.

THE PRESIDENT: Exciting.

MS. DOOLITTLE: Yes, and I think the thing that struck me the most is that in the midst of all of that devastation that you see -- they are the most joyful people you will ever meet in your entire life. And that also is infectious. So that is one thing that I wanted to catch going out of Africa, is that joy that they had in the midst of all that they were going through. These are people that absolutely love life, they cherish it. And we need to help them cherish that life a little longer. So it's a wonderful, wonderful thing you do.

I would love to have each one come up and --

THE PRESIDENT: I'd love to. I don't think there's enough cameras. (Laughter.)

END 11:31 A.M. EDT


President George W. Bush joins members at the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 25, 2008, during a program presentation for Malaria Awareness Day. President Bush later reviewed projects that the Boys & Girls Club members made about the prevention and treatment of malaria. White House photo by Chris Greenberg
President George W. Bush looks over the shoulders of middle school students as they work on projects for Malaria Awareness Day Friday, April 25, 2008, during his visit to the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Conn. White House photo by Chris Greenberg
President George W. Bush is embraced by Boys and Girls Club member Melodie Williams as they pose for a photo Friday, April 25, 2008, during the President's visit to the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Conn., where the Boys & Girls members were learning about the cause and prevention of malaria. White House photo by Chris Greenberg
President George W. Bush addresses his remarks in honor of Malaria Awareness Day Friday, April 25, 2008, during his visit to the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Hartford, Conn., where the Boys & Girls members were learning about the cause and prevention of malaria. Earlier in the day President Bush signed a proclamation on the United States commitment to help fight malaria in Africa and around the world. White House photo by Chris Greenberg


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