Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area
When United Methodists first stepped out in the battle against malaria, their banner cry was, “Nothing But Nets!” Indeed. To date nearly 2.5 million bed nets have been distributed. But before the nets were hung in homes across sub-Saharan Africa and after families began to sleep under those very nets, so much more was being done.
And so it that since 2008, Imagine No Malaria has focused on bed nets, yes, but also on communication, education, and health facilities. This comprehensive approach to fighting this killer disease has empowered the people of Africa to improve health infrastructure and achieve a sustainable victory over malaria.
United Methodists across the state of Michigan are now celebrating the Area’s successful effort to raise $1,542,269 representing 154,227 lives saved. Those numbers will increase as churches continue to remit their final contributions between now and Annual Conference.
West Michigan and Detroit conferences also join with United Methodists across the nation who are gearing up to celebrate World Malaria Day on April 25. Don’t let your attention to malaria end with your sending the congregation’s check to the Conference Treasurer. The fight to rid the world of malaria takes dollars but it also takes awareness of present gains and support of future possibilities, such as a vaccine or innovative methods of insect-control.
Bed nets have cut the death rate in half in Sub-Saharan Africa. Still a child dies every 60 seconds from malaria. ~umns photo
Imagine No Malaria is offering a variety of tools to celebrate World Malaria Day:
Get downloadable resources, including PowerPoint graphics, web ads, themed sermon starters and worship resources for use to promote World Malaria Day.
Shout out a powerful message on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr via Thunderclap. When a specified number of people sign up to support it, the Thunderclap will blast out a timed Facebook post or tweet from Imagine No Malaria supporters on April 25 – at the same time – creating a giant wave of attention. Join Imagine No Malaria’s World Malaria Day Thunderclap.
Use hashtags on social media platforms to talk about World Malaria Day events: #BringChange #DefeatMalaria #WorldMalariaDay
Add a special World Malaria Day Twibbon to your Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo to spread the word and let people know you support World Malaria Day.
Use Facebook to raise awareness by changing the cover image to the one on Imagine No Malaria’s Facebook page. Like the Imagine No Malaria page to receive updates with shareable videos and photos posts in support of World Malaria Day.
Pray for those at risk of death from malaria by posting a prayer on Imagine No Malaria’s Facebook page on or in the days leading up to World Malaria Day.
To date, INM has raised more than $66 million in gifts and pledges. United Methodists across the world are working hard to reach and celebrate the initiative’s $75 million goal before the denomination’s General Conference in 2016.