ELCA Malaria Campaign

Make Malaria History

A Mother’s Day Idea

Posted on March 30, 2012 by jessicanipp


The Southwest California Synod has been one of our pilot synods since 2010. They’ve done a fabulous job, raising nearly $200,000 so far! This Mother’s Day, they’re going to create and sell (for a donation) net corsages to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. They wanted to share this idea with all of you!

Their corsages will have the following note attached to them:

Mother’s Day reminds us each year of the blessing women bring into the world- a blessing of life and of personal sacrifice for the sake of love for the next generation.  What is an appropriate Mother’s Day gift in light of this gift to us?  Flowers soon die, candy is consumed, and cards are eventually discarded.  The momentous significance of mothers is undermined by the still devastating effects of Malaria.  Pregnant women and infants are the most highly vulnerable to dying from the bite of an infected mosquito, largely preventable by the use of mosquito nets at night. This year, give a gift that communicates your love for the mothers in your life, as well as a gift that will save future mothers and infants from death. 

We honor mothers on Mother’s Day by giving a net corsage – a gift that offers life to another mother. A mosquito net for a mother is life. Join the ELCA Malaria Campaign which offers mosquito nets so that mothers everywhere may live to be honored each Mother’s Day.

In Africa alone, 10,000 pregnant women die from Malaria and 200,000 infants die-  every year. Malaria, a disease contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito, has a disproportionate effect on children, pregnant women, and their unborn babies, affecting the next generation and those who take care of them. In addition to a high risk of dying from the complications of severe malaria, infected pregnant woman also risk miscarriage, premature delivery, delivery of low-birth-weight babies, stillbirth, and extreme maternal anemia.

World Malaria Day is coming!

Posted on March 27, 2012 by jessicanipp

World Malaria Day is Wednesday, April 25.  The ELCA Malaria Campaign would like to invite your congregation to hold a Malaria Sunday on Sunday, April 29. Here are some great resources that your congregation can use!

April 25, 2012 marks the sixth international World Malaria Day.  WMD was instituted in May 2007 by the World Health Assembly, as an opportunity for global education and storytelling about malaria. World Malaria Day is an opportunity for researchers to share their findings, for donors to share their gifts, and for international organizations to share success stories from the malaria interventions they have provided.

World Malaria Day invites all of us to reflect on the global companionships that are vital to the identity of the ELCA. We are a global church, accompanied on our faith journey by our Lutheran sisters and brothers in countries all across the world. If you’d like to learn more about  ministries of the ELCA as we connect to our sisters and brothers all across the globe, check out the Global Links newsletter!

Meet the Malaria Team: Allison Beebe

Posted on March 23, 2012 by allisonbeebe

Greetings malaria blogosphere! My name is Allison Beebe, and I recently began working as the Campaign Assistant for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. I’d simply like to use this post to introduce myself, and share some reflections about why I feel called to this work.

One of the reasons why I am energized by the Malaria Campaign is because we are supporting the work of our partners in Africa. While in college, I studied in Kenya on a program related to international development and public health. Kenyan professors taught me about malaria through the practical lens of health care, while my host families shared personal testimonials about how malaria had impacted their loved ones.  These facts and stories have stayed with me, and I’m hopeful that they can enrich my work with the campaign.

Another reason why I’m excited to be on board is because I’ll have the opportunity to work with college students. One of my projects will be to support Sorenson Grant recipients of Lutheran Campus Ministries and Lutheran colleges around the US. The Sorenson Grants will provide money for students to raise awareness and funds for malaria on their campuses. I was deeply involved with Lutheran Campus Ministry at my alma mater, the University of Minnesota. I’m thrilled that I can continue to support the work of campus ministry groups, all the while working to end malaria. That’s a win – win! I’m looking forward to campus visits, meeting with students and spreading the excitement about this cause.

Finally, I’m looking forward to connecting with many of you. We are blessed to be supported by such a dynamic group of volunteers and church leaders. Hearing about your creative and faithful projects inspires us in our work here at the ELCA.  Keep up the great work!

You’ll be seeing more posts from me as the weeks go on, but I first wanted to offer you a brief glimpse at your Campaign Assistant. Thank you for your loyal readership!

The Ancient Art of Mosquito-Making

Posted on March 21, 2012 by jessicanipp

Previously on this blog, we featured a story about the youth of the Western Iowa Synod, who created swarms of styrofoam mosquitoes that “infested” their synod assembly last year. The story has been popular, and we’ve received a few requests for mosquito-making instructions.

Pastor Terry Mahnke of Zion Lutheran Church in Rake, IA is happy to share his instructions for making the neon-colored critters.  He says, “All of the measurements are approximate, as are the suggestions for placement of wings, legs etc.  Do what looks right to you and have fun!”

 To Make Giant Styrofoam Mosquitoes…

Supply list

  • 5″ Styrofoam egg  body
  • 2.5″ Styrofoam  ball body
  • colored pipe cleaner
  • approximately ½ inch “googly eyes”  (available at most craft stores)
  • a thin wire for legs –should be thin but able to hold a shape
  • a medium-gauge wire for the wings –not quite as thick as a metal hanger
  • wooden rod, 1/4″ X 36″
  • acrylic paint (but not  spray paint—that tends to melt the styrofoam)
  • 1/2″ long spring with hooks on each end
  • a pair of knee-high nylons
  • hot glue gun or white carpenter’s glue (hot glue works better since it sets almost immediately)

Assembling a mosquito

1.) Paint both head and body . . . let dry
2.) Attach head and body using the spring
3.) Shape wings using the heavier wire.  Our wings were approximately 6″ by 3″ at widest part of the wing.  Should be egg-shaped.
4.) Twist wires together, leaving about 1/4″ at the base of wing.
5.) Insert wing into body one third of the way down the body.  Apply a spot of glue to hold the wing in place.
6.) Using the thin wire, form six legs. Insert them into the body again with a spot of glue.
7.) For the nose/proboscis: on some of our mosquitoes we used small wooden crosses about 1/2″ long, on others we used a colored pipe cleaner.
8.) Attach eyes with glue, centering them around the proboscis.  
9.) Use two pipe cleaners for antennae. Be creative with the shape.  Attach those above the eyes, holding them in place with a spot of glue.
10.) Insert wooden rod near the center of gravity of the mosquito and glue in place.
11.) Attach the legs you previously shaped, three to a side. Glue in place.
12.) Cover the wings with plastic wrap or knee hi nylons.
13.) Stand back and admire your work!


10 Top Ideas for Synods

Posted on March 20, 2012 by jessicanipp

In August 2011, voting members at the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted resoundingly to roll out the ELCA Malaria Campaign to the whole church. At that time, we honored the work of our 11 “pilot synods,” who had been pioneers and guinea pigs, testing and creating the materials and structures that we now recommend to you. Here are some of the top things they learned about guiding their synods through a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the work of the ELCA Malaria Campaign:

Many thanks to all of our "pilots"!

1.)    Communication is key. Connect with ELCA Malaria Campaign staff.  Connect with synod office. Congregational volunteers should connect with the pastor(s) to agree on timing and tactics of the campaign. Report back to congregation/synod often, and celebrate your success.

2.)    Use the synod structures. Synod assembly is a great time to kick off a campaign. Use synod leadership such as conference deans, and synod communications structures such as newsletter and Web site. The most successful campaigns have a very engaged bishop/synod office.

3.)    Have engaged volunteers. Find a contact person at each congregation. Communicate with them regularly.

4.)    Equip everyone. Make sure every volunteer and every congregation has the resources they need. Offer a lot of engagement options, and let congregations choose what’s right for them. Encourage congregations to reach as many sectors/groups as possible.  Be intergenerational and inclusive.

5.)    Let the youth lead! Engage, equip and empower youth to lead ELCA Malaria Campaign activities within their congregations. Youth often have leadership skills, enthusiasm and compassion for those who suffer. Tap into those traits and showcase their enthusiasm—with a talent show, a series of noisy offerings, or even a congregational strategy.

6.)    Persevere. In some congregations, a six-week campaign is all it takes. Some congregations may want to engage in campaign fundraising for a year or more. Some congregations will catch on quickly; some will be slow to respond. Be patient, and keep telling the story.

7.)    Be systematic. On a synod level, you might organize congregations in terms of how much encouragement they’re likely to need, or in terms of size, giving history or special areas of interest. Calculate a specific challenge or a goal for each congregation. Encourage some friendly competition.

8.)    Find some authentic stories. Connect with people in your congregation or community who have a malaria story to tell. Perhaps they come from a country in Africa with whom we’re partnering. Or maybe they got malaria when they were serving in the military or traveling overseas. Real stories resonate.

9.)    Create a visual display. Create a display for awareness—try a mosquito net or a “mascot” such as a giant mosquito. Create a display for fundraising, as well—perhaps a bulletin board charting your progress or a swarm of mosquitoes that slowly disappear as you raise more money.

10.)    Have fun! Encourage folks to have fun with this campaign. The more creative a project, the more likely it will be remembered.

Malaria and… chrysanthemums?

Posted on March 19, 2012 by jessicanipp

Yep! There’s a strong connection, in fact.

This weekend, I heard from two different women who had experienced the following scenario when visiting their companions in Africa: women sitting at a table, sorting chrysanthemum flowers. And the African women had explained to them that they were making insecticide.

And indeed they were. Some species of chrysanthemums produce a natural insecticide called “pyrethrum,” which is obtained by collecting, drying and grinding the flower heads into a powder. This natural insecticide has been well-known in other parts of the world, for example in China, for centuries.

Indoor residual spraying is an intervention that’s commonly used to help prevent malaria in Africa. It involves spraying an insecticide onto door frames and window frames inside homes– the places mosquitoes where are most likely to land after crossing the threshold. A type of insecticide commonly used is a “pyrethroid insecticide.” Pyrethroid insecticides are also used to impregnate mosquito nets and give them insecticidal properties.

Pyrethroids are synthetic compounds based on the pyrethrum that comes from chrysanthemums. The synthetic insecticides have another insecticidal ingredient added, which makes them even more powerful and effective than the natural substance produced in the flowers.

I was fascinated to learn of this natural insecticide and the connections that it has to our companions’ malaria interventions that the ELCA Malaria Campaign is making possible in Africa.

I’d like to lift up another connection as well: a connection to a resource that the ELCA Malaria Campaign has already promoted– net corsages.  These corsages are made of fabric and netting, and are meant to remind us of the mosquito nets that are used to protect families from malaria-carrying mosquitoes while they sleep. 

From now on, these net corsages will also remind me of the flower that aids our cause– the insecticide-producing chrysanthemum.  

— Jessica Nipp, ELCA Malaria Campaign Coordinator

Every 45 seconds…

Posted on March 15, 2012 by jessicanipp

Every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies of malaria. It’s a shocking statistic.

A few weeks ago, I preached at Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City, IA. During the worship service, they had a remarkable way of bringing this statistic to life.  During all of the spoken parts of the liturgy– including the sermon– a handbell was rung every 45 seconds. Every 45 seconds, a sound rang out above our words. Every 45 seconds, the death of a child was commemorated in our service.

It was a simple and very profound way to remember those whose lives are impacted –or even ended– by malaria.

What could malaria and cancer have in common?

Posted on March 14, 2012 by jessicanipp

Special thanks to Dianne Johnson, coordinator of the NW Synod of Washington’s ELCA Malaria Campaign activities, for sharing a piece her personal journey with us:

“In the spring of 2010 I would have never imagined that I would become so knowledgeable and passionate around the topics of malaria and cancer.   As part of a program through ONE.org and Malaria no More twenty some enthusiastic learners across the country signed on to become Malaria Griots – to learn all we could about what malaria is, how it is treated, how it is prevented, the history of the disease and the world wide planning taking place to eliminate the death and destruction this disease causes around the globe – and to become spokespersons for others so that the efforts to take on malaria can be shared by those living in communities spared from the disease.  My journey to this course came from the experiences of traveling several times to Tanzania and hearing firsthand the stories of women and children whose lives have been affected by malaria.

Dianne Johnson

“Just as the class work was coming to an end and the Griots were to be sent out to share the message of hope to many, I was shocked with a diagnosis of breast cancer.  In this time of healing, past the surgery, radiation and physical therapy to regain strength and mobility, there is time for reflection.  I am profoundly grateful for the access to care that I had.  Even with an early found cancer it is staggering to consider the resources necessary to provide a hopeful outcome of a long and hopefully cancer free future.  In the past eight months I have been the recipient of nearly $100,000 of medical care.  There have been untold hours of skilled  care from skilled people.  My community surrounding me offered meals, rides and emotional support.  There is no possible way that as a family we could have done this on our own – financially or emotionally.  Perhaps one of the most difficult thoughts to deal with during this time is realizing how I have had access to so much when so many women in our world have access to so little.

“The contrast between what it takes to spare a life from cancer and what it takes to protect a family from malaria is crazy – Cancer = $100,000 Malaria = $10 .  That figure is correct – $10!  Ten dollars is enough to provide a bed net and education for a family.  It also ensures access to proper treatment and access to the latest medications to treat active cases of malaria.  The similarity between the two is that many families on their own simply can’t afford the expense and need a larger community around them to provide what they need for the hope of a malaria free future.

“My hope is that in sharing my story that women in countries like Tanzania might begin to receive the resources to protect their families from malaria.  As recently as 2006 there were 38,000 deaths in Tanzania from this disease – primarily among children 5 and under.  In 2010 the government began an extensive program so that each family might receive 2 bed nets, education and access to prompt medical care.  As a country struggling with poverty they could not take this on alone.  Funding has been provided through the President’s Malaria Initiative and many other nonprofit and faith based organizations to make this possible.  Perhaps soon we will hear stories of empty hospital beds and the end of so many early childhood deaths.

“Would you like to be a part of this movement to bring hope to so many families?  A gift of $10 to the ELCA Malaria Campaign will bring hope to a family – or maybe even a gift of $10 each month!  Share the story with others and our gifts together can make Malaria a thing of the past.”

Thank you very much, Dianne!

Dodgeball to end Malaria

Posted on March 7, 2012 by jessicanipp

Pastor Corrine Denis shared this great story with us of a dodgeball tournament organized by her youth group to kick off the ELCA Malaria Campaign fundraising at their congregation, Cross Lutheran Church in Burlington, WI.

She writes:

Youth from Burlington, WI participate in the Cross Lutheran Church dodgeball tournament to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

“In September our youth group learned about malaria through a “Malaria Dodgeball” game provided on the ELCA Malaria Campaign website.  After a few games, we wondered together how to make the game fair.  And we struggled with what to do in our world regarding malaria.  “We should have a dodgeball tournament to raise money for nets!” they responded.  Thus began the preparations for a community wide dodgeball tournament.

“On February 25, three area churches and friends from the community gathered for a dodgeball tournament to learn more about malaria and raise money.  Each youth was asked to give $5 to participate with the idea that each net costs $10.  To our surprise, some took in pledges and others handed me fistfuls of money at the end of the tournament.  They were so moved by the day that they gave me money they may have used to buy a soda afterwards.  We ended up collecting $552 on a Saturday afternoon with more coming in.  Not only did the kids have a blast playing dodgeball, they made a difference in their world, and many adults stayed to cheer them on.  It was a cross-generational, community-wide reflection of “God’s work, our hands.”  I was so humbled by this experience that I thought it should be shared with you. 

“Peace be to you and all your faithful work, Pastor Corrine Denis.”

Thank you, Pastor Corrine, and the youth of Cross Lutheran Church!!

Congratulations to our Grant Recipients!

Posted on March 2, 2012 by jessicanipp

The results are in:  we would like to announce that we have awarded grants to five different ELCA Campus Ministries and ELCA colleges. These grants will be used as seed money to inspire educational activities and fund-raising on campus beginning this spring and continuing through the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Thanks to a generous gift from the Sorenson family, money raised for the ELCA Malaria Campaign on ALL college campuses (not just those who received grants) will be matched dollar for dollar!

Sorenson Grants have been awarded to the following campuses and campus ministries. Highlights of their program plans are included– there’s a wealth of creativity on our campuses!

  • Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD: Their “Be the Change” campaign will leverage even the smallest of gifts into a life-saving opportunity. An inter-dormitory competition will get everyone involved in a spirit of friendly competition; a “Munching against Malaria” campaign will collect everyone’s loose change in M&M containers; visibility will be increased as key leaders don red shoes, shirts and hair; connections will be made with Augustana alumni to leverage donations; a campus-wide awareness-raising event will include pinning malaria clothespins on the clothes and backpacks of unsuspecting “malaria victims”. (Coordinator: Michaela Bernard)
  •  Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Ministry, University of North Dakota: Lutheran Campus Ministry is collaborating with the Board of Student Athletes to provide opportunities for education and fundraising at sporting events during the next two academic years.  Christus Rex Campus Ministry will take the lead in providing educational and awareness-raising activities on campus. (Coordinator: Colleen Maki)
  • Luther College, Decorah, IA: The Luther Student Congregation is planning a multitude of  events to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Chief among these are the Spring Fling and the Fall Fling, events that give students the opportunity to go serve the community. In return, those who receive the service donate money, which will be designated to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Other events in the life of Luther College will also be utilized as fundraising opportunities for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.  (Coordinator: Daniel Baldwin) 
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA: LCM plans to hire a peer minister whose primary task would be to head up their Malaria Campaign in the coming academic years.  This peer minister will coordinate informational kiosks on campus and a documentary night at the campus theater, where LCM will show “A Killer in the Dark: An Extraordinary Effort to Combat Malaria.”  LCM will also provide information and solicit donations at the 2012 5K Fun Run held on campus, and place ads in the campus newspaper. (Coordinator: Terry Hannon)
  • Wartburg College, Waverly, IA: Wartburg Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry plans to partner with many other student organizations to make the ELCA Malaria Campaign visible at many events in the life of Wartburg College. It will incorporate students, faculty, staff and alumni into its programming.  There will be an intentional education phase, during which trained teams of students give presentations to a variety of groups on campus. A craft project (making “malaria piggy banks”) will engage the creativity of the Wartburg community, and offer opportunities for collecting change for the campaign. A Malaria Benefit Concert featuring student and alumni performers will be the capstone fundraising event. (Coordinator: Kelsey Nulph)

Please join me in celebrating the creatvity, compassion and energy of our Lutheran students!

And also… please join me in contacting other ELCA colleges and campus ministries to let them know that FUNDING IS STILL AVAILABLE! We will continue to consider applications on a rolling basis as funding allows. New deadline is May 1, 2012.  (Click here for more information.)