This Thursday, April 25th, 2019 is World Malaria Day – a day that annually recognizes efforts globally to control malaria. I am honored and beyond excited to be partnering with Compassion International to bring awareness to and raise funds to control and end malaria in Tanzania.
Compassion International is an organization that I have long been a supporter of. My family and I have sponsored a child through Compassion International for years and I actually was able to visit a Compassion project in Kariobangi, Kenya, when I was there in January 2017. Compassion is an organization that I believe in so much and to share my heart for this organization and this particular initiative is a dream for me.
So, why should we care about this region of the world and the malaria epidemic they are facing?
The economic impact of malaria is so high in Tanzania (and many developing nations) that it is one of the leading causes of poverty.
If you’re not familiar, malaria is a mosquito-borne illness caused by a parasite. More than 93% of the populations in Tanzania are at risk as they live in areas where transmission of malaria occurs (source: NMCP, National Malaria Control Program, 2013). Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in pregnant women and children under the age of 5 years. Malaria, as a disease, has both direct and indirect effects. Directly, malaria causes illness, disability, and even death. Indirectly, malaria can cause great loss in terms of time out of school or the ability work, treatment costs in terms of family time spent to care for the sick, loss of productive time, funeral costs, and of course, time spent by families and communities to grieve for the dead. Malaria can also undermine agricultural productivity and wages earned, especially because the peak period of transmission of malaria often coincides with the peak period of farming and labor operations. Malaria also negatively impacts child development outcomes.
Malaria is serious, but it is also very preventable.
A simple mosquito net is a HUGE factor in protecting kids and families from contracting malaria. Malaria-contracting mosquitoes typically bite between 10 o’clock at night and 2 o’clock in the morning, so sleeping under a mosquito net, especially one that has been treated with insecticide, can greatly reduce the risk of the bites occurring.
For this program, Compassion International Tanzania (CIT) has partnered with 12 implementing church partners in Chato, Katoro and Geita Clusters throughout Tanzania… and they have a goal of increasing access to mosquito treated nets among 2,300 caregivers and 2,384 beneficiaries in Tanzania by Aug 2019.
I believe we can help to make that goal happen.
I am partnering directly with Compassion International to raise money for these much-needed mosquito nets in Tanzania.
I’m also talking with my kids about ways THEY can get involved, too. We actually got out a mosquito net and showed our kids… we talked about what malaria is and how it’s something that they should be very thankful that they don’t have to worry about dealing with it here in the United States. While the mosquito net was something “fun” to play with on a nice spring day, we talked about how this is something that can literally save a child’s life in another part of the world.
It’s important for me to instill in my children a sense of understanding that the world does not revolve around them… to help them, on their level, understand the privileges and advantages that have been afforded to them simply because of things like the color of their skin, the country, and even the time in history they were born in. I explain that these things don’t make them better than anyone else and that they should treat everyone with kindness and dignity and respect, but that at the end of the day, they are to use their privilege to come alongside those who do not have such privilege. That they should use their voice to elevate the voices of others.
In the Geita region of Tanzania, more than 5,000 Compassion children and their caregivers are at high risk of contracting malaria.
A one-time donation of $18 purchases one malaria net, $36 purchases two malaria nets. That is less than what you probably spend at Starbucks (or Chipotle) each month…
Will you donate $18, $36, or more today? If you have the means, donate now. If money is tight, consider getting together with your kids and beginning to have these difficult, but important conversations and brainstorm ways you can raise money together as a family. I think you can raise $18 or $36 pretty quickly… and I think you could raise even more than that.
I am doing this with my family and I’d love for you to join me. Donate today, share with me on social media if you do, let’s get others involved! We CAN do this.
TO DONATE, go to http://compassion.com/molly. Your donation is tax deductible and it will go DIRECTLY towards purchasing the much-needed malaria nets in this region. And also, because I wanted to know, I asked Compassion International where the malaria nets are sourced… they are actually sourced locally in the regions in which they are being used. They are not purchased here or elsewhere and shipped… so not only are you providing a life-saving mosquito net for a family, you are also helping to stimulate the local economy in Tanzania.
Let’s do this, friend. Let’s be the change we want to see.