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    Make Malaria History

    Maria’s Story

    Posted on June 29, 2013 by jessicanipp

    Maria and Pauline are friends and neighbors.  They live in Chigumukire, a small village near the shore of Lake Malawi.

    Malaria has long been a challenge in Maria and Pauline’s community, and its effects are compounded by widespread poverty and lack of education. 

    Maria croppedMaria’s story

    Malaria compromises lives—the lives of those who suffer from it, and the lives of everyone in their household. “Because malaria is one of the killer diseases in Malawi, sometimes it reduces the development,” Maria explains. “If you are suffering from malaria, you can’t concentrate on other developmental issues like finding money to pay for school fees, and finding money to do other things.”

    “In the past before I had my small business, there was a frequent prevalence of malaria in this house,” Maria says.  Her family includes three children.  “A few weeks ago, one of my children was affected by malaria, and I needed to take the child to the hospital,” she remembers.  

    For those living in poverty, getting medical treatment for malaria can be an insurmountable obstacle:  the nearest clinic to their home is 8 miles away, clinic services are not free, and transportation can be difficult to come by.  Maria, however, is one of the more fortunate ones.  

    Several months ago, “I got a loan from the Village Savings and Loan Association,” she relates. “I used the money to start a small business baking donuts and cakes.”  The Village Savings and Loan Association that gave her the loan was funded through the Lutheran malaria program.  That loan helped her to stabilize her household income, purchase a second bed net for her family, and overcome the obstacles of health care access when her child got sick. The child was successfully treated for malaria, and survived.

    Maria is thankful for the presence of the Lutheran malaria program in Chigumukire. “Knowing about the problems of malaria and also being protected [by our nets], it made quite a difference.  Although we still suffer from malaria sometimes, there is a big difference in our lives… Now the malaria program has come to us and added development to our lives. I feel I can see a good future, as the program of malaria continues.”

    Pauline’s Story

    Posted on June 27, 2013 by jessicanipp

    Maria and Pauline are friends and neighbors.  They live in Chigumukire, a small village near the shore of Lake Malawi.

    Malaria has long been a challenge in Pauline and Maria’s community, and its effects are compounded by widespread poverty and lack of education. 

    Pauline croppedPauline’s story

    “In the past,” Pauline relates, “malaria was a problem that we didn’t understand.”  Now, through the ELCA-funded Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi, community-based educators come regularly to Chigumukire to educate community members about the causes, transmission and symptoms of malaria.

     These days, when Pauline or a member of her family gets malaria, she recognizes the issue. Along with the tell-tale fever, “another one of the issues is vomiting, and sometimes loss of appetite. Those are the signs—the symptoms of malaria,” Pauline relates confidently.  And she’s learned to get the patient to the clinic within 24 hours of the appearance of symptoms.

    Trained community-based educators also teach community members how to reduce mosquito populations by eliminating sources of standing water in which mosquitoes breed; “like taking care of the latrines and the trash pit,” she adds.

    Pauline has hope for a healthier future in Chigumukire. “I am looking forward to the end of malaria in this village. Because the church is sensitizing us how to prevent malaria, I believe we can see the end of it.”

    “We are getting treatment quickly”–Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi

    Posted on June 25, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Senior Chief Bango, Malawi

    Senior Chief Bango, Malawi

    Senior Chief Bango has seen the effects of the Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi. He has watched his community learn to save money communally, and to use that money to purchase transportation and supplies that help them to access hospital care and malaria prevention resources. He shares his experiences:

    “So with the coming of the church [malaria program], we are getting treatment [more] quickly than in the past, when it took us time to go to the hospital to be treated.”

    “We have received information from the workers—the malaria people who are going around—telling us, when you get these signs, these symptoms, it is malaria and we should rush to the hospital.  And because of this, now we are rushing, we are going, we are getting the treatment. ”

    “It is very important for the church to support in this way, to the malaria, because most of the time we go to church when we are feeling better, when we are healthy. So if I’m sick, I cannot attend church activities. And in so doing, spiritually I will be… hungry, because I will not get the words.”

     To read the entire interview with Senior Chief Bango, click here.

    “Life is now easy, very much easy.”

    Posted on June 23, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Stella Kaziputa, Kapili Health Center, Malawi

    Stella Kaziputa, Kapili Health Center, Malawi

    Stella Kaziputa is the nurse, midwife and technician at Kapili Health Center in Malawi. She comments on the impact of the Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi. 

     “Before the project started, we had a lot of malaria cases; most especially in the under-5 children.  But since 2011, when the project started, we have had a great reduction of malaria in the under-5 children, or even the pregnant women.” 

    “Life is now easy, very much easy, since the beginning of the program. Since the program started, we have had reduced cases of malaria which are being attended [to] at the health facility.”

    “And the referred cases for malaria, with the severe signs of malaria: before the project started, there were about 10-15 children in a week. [At] this time we can [count] only 2 to 3 children at our district hospital coming with the severe signs of malaria [each week].  This is because the malaria treatment is given right away at the community [level], so the cases are reduced because of that.”

    “And more especially the church is so concerned, because the church knows why the church is there in the world. It’s there because of our risen Father Jesus Christ.  We serve the people.” 

    “I have hope for the future, for this Health Center, and through you I know we will have assistance.”

    To read the full interview with Stella, please click here. 

    Helping End Malaria with Recycling

    Posted on June 21, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Denny Lott poses with a load of recycling that will raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign

    Denny Lott poses with a load of recycling that will raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign

    Many thanks to Sierra Pacific Synod Coordinators, Edie and Denny Lott, for sharing this story and these photos with us.  

    At Truckee Lutheran Presbyterian Church we are deeply involved in the ELCA Malaria Campaign in a unique way.   We are using the California Redemption Value (CRV) buyback program to raise funds.  We are a small ELCA-PC(USA) congregation of the Sierra Pacific Synod, located in Truckee about 13 miles north of Lake Tahoe.  We are in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We have no building or office and a ½ time pastor.  About 11 years ago we began recycling for the ELCA program “Stand with Africa.”  By the time that program ended our recycling had gained momentum.  As a congregation, we continued to “Stand with Africa” using the funds each year for various programs that benefit Africa. 

    Lott recycling 2

    All loaded up and ready to recycle!

    For 2013-2015 our recycling proceeds will go to the ELCA Malaria Campaign, along with matching funds from our local chapter of Thrivent Financial.  Each year we dedicate the recycling funds during a July worship service.  Our goal this year is $800.  We are almost there!  In our synod we have a goal of $10 per member.  We should do double that in our congregation by 2015! It is exciting to see that what might have been garbage can bring life and health.  Through our recycling we are becoming “the hands and feet of Christ” to our brothers and sisters in Africa.

    If you have questions about our recycling program, please contact Edie or Denny Lott at thelotts@gmail.com.

    Removing the Obstacles: Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe, Malawi

    Posted on June 19, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi

    Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi

    An interview with Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi:

    “I am happy for the malaria campaign, because… it has made us become more aware of what malaria is. We assumed we knew malaria, but we didn’t know how to prevent it.  In this program, our people have discovered that malaria is both preventable and curable.”

    “[Before the malaria program] we didn’t have adequate knowledge for our people. And that’s what this program has done. And it will do more…”

    “Because the ELCA is one church in my view, where, when we talk about giving, we are talking about its members—the people themselves. It’s not about government. It’s not about politics. It’s about issues: what is it that we would like to do together?”

    “There are many people today who cannot understand what love is, because there is so much that is hindering them from seeing that love. And the mission that we, and ELCA, must embark on must remove those obstacles that hinder people from seeing the love of Christ. Malaria is one of them. HIV and AIDS is another. Poverty is the root of all these hindrances.”

    To read the entire interview with Bishop Bvumbwe, click here.

    Bishop Bvumbwe has also been featured in the following posts in the Malaria Blog:

     

    “Doing Wonders”– an interview with the Program Coordinator in Malawi

    Posted on June 17, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Ms. Judith Jere, Malaria Program Coordinator in Malawi, teaches in a community

    Ms. Judith Jere, Malaria Program Coordinator in Malawi, teaches in a community

    “In Malawi, malaria is one of the deadly diseases, because it affects almost everybody. And it is transmitted by mosquitoes, but it is prevalent throughout the country. In a year we have about 6 million cases of malaria [in Malawi]. And this is mainly in the under-5 children and the pregnant women. Malaria is one of the major diseases—the deadly diseases—in Malawi.  And it’s a health issue, but I could also say it is a development issue which we have to right, because it is claiming a lot of lives, especially among the children.”

    “The changes [as a result of the malaria program] are quite tremendous and very significant ones. You know, at first, most of the people in the rural areas, they didn’t know the symptoms of malaria.  Now when the campaign started, we started teaching the people to be able to understand the symptoms of malaria, and the importance of rushing to the hospitals before they can lose lives. And a lot has happened now and this is reflected in the health centers we are working with; now they have high attendance of people going for treatment of malaria. By so doing, a lot of lives are being saved.  Apart from that, we are also teaching: teaching them how to prevent from being bitten by mosquito, which transmits malaria.  And they are using the mosquito nets.”

    Judith“What I can say is that the [malaria] campaign is doing wonders. It’s like a miracle. You know, at first many children were dying. But now the mortality rate has reduced significantly, and we’re very proud about what ELCA is doing [with] our church.” 

    “Everywhere you go, you talk about the malaria campaign, women are just dancing and singing, because so many lives are being saved, especially under the young children under 5 years.”

    “With the interventions we have in the Malaria Campaign, life is much, much easier now.”

    “What I love most about the church is that when it comes to community work, it doesn’t target only the members only, but it looks at the surrounding communities as well, as also deserving of the services.”

    These are just some of the wonderful insights shared by Ms. Judith Jere, Coordinator of the Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi, in a March, 2013 interview.  I encourage you to click here to read the entire interview with Judith!

    Malaria Programming in Malawi– an in-depth look

    Posted on June 14, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Rev. Alick Msuku, right, teaches a community malaria program in Malawi.
    Rev. Alick Msuku, right, teaches a community malaria program in Malawi.

    “Personally, malaria has affected me.  Just a month ago, I suffered from malaria. I’m the Assistant Program Coordinator for malaria in the church, but last month I was affected by malaria.” 

    “So, the support that the ELCA has granted us in Malawi indeed reaches the community members, particularly in those three districts: the districts of Nkhotakhota, Salima, and Mangochi. The lives of the people have indeed changed.” 

    “There are a lot of achievements through this program.  Men and women have changed their mindset.  They have changed their behaviors.” 

    Read these stories and more in the interview with the Rev. Alick Msuku, Assistant Malaria Projects Coordinator in Malawi. (Click here to download the entire interview!)

    Running with Endurance– for a great cause

    Posted on June 11, 2013 by jessicanipp
    Brad Wylam, Scott Van Daalen and Ethan Wise are "Running from Malaria" this summer.

    Brad Wylam, Scott Van Daalen and Ethan Wise are “Running from Malaria” this summer.

    Three teenaged guys from Waverly, IA have big summer plans: running across the state.  Their 21-day journey will take them 350 miles–on foot and bicycle–through Iowa cities like Hull, Sheldon, Sanborn, Primghar, Hartley, Spencer, Spirit Lake and Milford… and that’s just in the first week.

    Beginning TODAY, Brad Wylam, Scott Van Daalen and Ethan Wise are trekking to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign and the United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria Campaign. They call their team “Running from Malaria”, and it’s their way of making their summer vacation meaningful. “When we started Running from Malaria, we had been thinking and praying for something we could do,” they share on their Facebook page, “and by the Grace of God, He gave us this.”

    Day one in Hull, Iowa.

    Day one in Hull, Iowa.

    Brad and Scott are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waverly, which has been actively raising money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign; Ethan is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly, where his mother is the pastor.

    Along their journey, Running from Malaria will be stopping at Lutheran and Methodist churches to teach and raise awareness about malaria and what Lutherans and Methodists in the United States are doing about it.  

    Along the way, their theme song gives them renewed energy. ”Brother I’ll Keep Running” (which you can listen to here) is written and sung by Colton Wagner, who graduated a few weeks ago from Wartburg College in Waverly.

    Local media have been quick to pick up on this great story.  Check out this article from KWWL in Waterloo, Iowa, for example!

    I’ve been following their preparations on their Facebook page, and I’d love it if you did the same. Join their friends, family and fans in sending them some encouragement for the journey! Running From Malaria also has a great website.

    Let’s do our best to support the Running From Malaria Team on their journey (and pray for great weather along the way)!

    - Jessica Nipp Hacker, ELCA Malaria Campaign Coordinator

     

    Welcome Interns!

    Posted on June 10, 2013 by allisonbeebe

    The ELCA Malaria Campaign and ELCA World Hunger are pleased to welcome three interns who will be serving with us throughout the summer. Clara will be working primarily on the Malaria Campaign, while Jesse and Brittani will spend their time with ELCA World Hunger. We’re excited to see what the summer will bring! 

    Ranaivoson_Head shot

    Clara Ranaivoson

    Hi, my name is Clara Ranaivoson and I am the summer intern for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. I am originally from Madagascar, but I grew up in Papua New Guinea, England, Kenya, and the USA. My father, Mamy Ranaivoson, used to serve as the Program Assistant for the Health Ministry of the ELCA Global Mission and the Regional Coordinator for the HIV/AIDs program for the Lutheran World Federation in Africa. Through his work and my experiences living overseas, I discovered my interest in health project implementation and its role in the alleviation of poverty. Thus, I am interested in pursuing a career in public health or one in the medical field. Currently, I attend Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN where I plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biology next May. I am thrilled and grateful for this opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of health project implementation and the church’s role in it, and to discover if a career in public health is well suited to my strengths and interests.

     

    Brittani Lamb

    Brittani Lamb

    Hi all! My name is Brittani Lamb and I am a World Hunger intern this summer. I will mostly be focusing on projects that involve the youth of the ELCA. I am originally from St. Peter, Minnesota and now attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, where I will graduate next spring with a degree in Social Work. Through my coursework I learned how to act on the great passion I have for social justice and how to work to address issues like poverty and hunger.  I knew the ELCA would be a great place to put my new knowledge into practice. I got involved in the larger Church in high school when I became a member and then president of my synod’s Lutheran Youth Organization board. As I attended national youth events and learned more about the structure and mission of the ELCA, I discovered that church is so much more than just a service on Sunday! People who work in the ELCA truly see their positions as a way to fulfill their personal vocations and as a way to serve God and the Church. I am excited to be a part of a group that is so enthusiastic about doing God’s work in our world and also learning more about addressing hunger and poverty through relief, education, advocacy and development.

     

    Jesse McClain

    Jesse McClain

    I’m Jesse McClain, Intern for ELCA World Hunger. I finished my B.A in Political Science from California Lutheran University in May 2013. I grew up in Hemet, CA and went to school in Thousand Oaks, CA. In high school my mom served as a case manager for a small homeless shelter in my hometown. Through her work there my family was very involved in the day to day operations of shelter and it was my second home. During this time is when I began to see that the world was so much bigger than just me. It was also the first time I experienced and witnessed how much help the world needed. My passion is for justice and I fight for that with love. I am excited to be part of the World Hunger team and explore more ways to get involved and help our brothers and sisters around the world. Although it might seem overwhelming, hunger and poverty can end, but it takes passion, tenacity, and a human soul on fire to succeed. I know I can’t change the world alone and the work I do will only make a small dent- but the beauty of a church that works together is that a bunch of small dents makes one giant dent to end some of the suffering in the world, and that is why I am so thrilled to be part of this team!