During the month of February we are officially kicking off our fundraising campaign to help raise money for Imagine No Malaria, the United Methodist Church’s effort to eradicate malaria from Africa. Since 2010, the Imagine No Malaria campaign has grown and become a major emphasis of the UMC’s work in many African nations, as a follow-up campaign to the largely successful Nothing But Nets effort. Malaria is considered one of the diseases of poverty because it is easily prevented or treated if people have access to the necessary resources. This disease impacts roughly 219 million people each year causing about 600,000 deaths, 85% of which are in sub-Saharan Africa mostly among children and pregnant women. Every 60 seconds, someone dies from this preventable disease.
Imagine No Malaria is our name for the work we are doing in partnership with groups such as the World Health Organization, the Global Fund, the United Nations Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thanks to generous grants from the United Nations Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, all of the money that is raised for Imagine No Malaria is able to be spent on the goal of eradicating the disease from Africa – all administrative costs are covered by these grants and by the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering collected to support the work of UMCOR.
The West Ohio Conference of the UMC has pledged to raise $3.5 million by June of 2016, and North Broadway UMC has committed to taking on $25,000 of that overall goal. While this may seem like a large amount of money for NBUMC, here are some numbers that might make you feel less anxious: we have about 28 months to meet this goal, and there are about 250 people in worship each Sunday. So if each person donates $4 each month, we will surpass our goal! The money we provide will be used for a number of projects, including:
- Proving medication to treat someone with malaria
- Providing insecticide-treated bed nets to families in need
- Covering the cost of an anti-malaria education campaign for school children
- Training and supporting Community Health Workers
- Covering the cost of rapid diagnostic tests for local hospitals in Africa
- Helping communities and the UMC to develop infrastructure to support local clinics and hospitals
- Offering training to community leaders on the ways to prevent malaria, and to develop community-based anti-malaria campaigns
Over the next few weeks and months, as the campaign gets underway here at NBUMC, we will be offering a number of events and opportunities for people to donate money, as well as the chance to learn more about malaria, the preventable deaths caused by malaria each year largely because of the effects of poverty, and the four-fold approach of the Imagine No Malaria campaign (Education, Prevention, Communication, and Treatment).
In the mean time, if you are interested in learning more about ways in which you can be involved, contact Pastor Peter, then come to the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on March 4th, and keep watching for more ways to get involved.
I look forward to working with you as we begin our work toward this worthwhile and urgent goal.
Grace and peace,