In evaluating a community development program, one of my favorite metrics for measuring success and impact is the question of “most significant change.” What is the most significant change in your community, or in your life, as a result of the program? What a wonderful way to measure impact.
We asked this question to our companions in Africa who receive ELCA Malaria Campaign funding for their malaria programs. Here are some of the quotes that they shared with us from their communities:
1.) “The Malaria Campaign program has really helped. There has been notable reduction in the burden of the disease in the area. Before the program started, people only slept under the nets during rainy seasons when mosquitoes are plenty. But now we all sleep under the nets throughout the year, and this has reduced the number of malaria cases in our village. My son will never go to sleep until he is covered with a mosquito net. We now know how to protect ourselves and we are not spending money on medicines anymore.”
~A mother in Simaubi, Zambia
2.) “In the past, the people in my area didn’t know the symptoms of malaria and associated them with witchcraft. This led them to seek the help of herbalists, which complicated the malaria cases, and children were dying. As a result of the sensitization and awareness given in the church and the community, complicated cases of malaria are now rare.”
~ A headman in Mununji, Zambia
3.) “It is very encouraging to see our headman calling for malaria sensitization meetings at his home. Since the time our headman came from the training workshop which was conducted by the Lutheran Malaria Campaign program in Zambezi, so far he has held about three Malaria Campaign meetings. He is also involved in the teaching and he tells us that he doesn’t want to see anyone in his village die of malaria because it’s a disease that is curable, treatable and preventable.”
~ An elder in Dipalata, Zambia
4.) “The malaria campaign program has helped because in the past we never had anti-malarial medicines or rapid diagnosis Tests (RDTs) and we never trained people to treat, test or give out medicines. But because of the malaria campaign program, we now have trained community workers, rapid diagnosis tests and anti-malarial medicines in our village and we treat malaria with the first-line medicines (called Coartem) provided by the church program. We never used to be tested for malaria before we were given medicines, but now we get tested by the community health center first.”
~ An elder in Mununji, Zambia
My friends in the ELCA– let this be evidence that YOUR GIFTS ARE CHANGING LIVES. Thank you.