"All About Empowerment" - Final reflections from Megan!
It is hard to believe that tomorrow I will be headed home on a plane to Texas. It has been a great summer with the Malaria Campaign Team, the World Hunger Team, the ELCA churchwide staff, fellow interns, my host family and the city of Chicago. Thank you for your support on this wonderful journey.
I have found that as a community development major, this internship with the ELCA Malaria Campaign was a great match. I see community development as a process which involves local residents. It provides them with the tools and resources necessary to discern local issues, and create solutions with consideration of the community's assets. It's a process all about empowerment.
Through the ELCA's model of accompaniment and the structure of the 13 Lutheran malaria programs in Africa, the ELCA Malaria Campaign works in community development. At the churchwide level, we look at our relationships with our companion churches and partners in Africa. In each of the countries, the programs are developed based on the assets in the community and facilitated by community members themselves. The programs equip community leaders with platforms to educate their fellow community members in malaria prevention and treatment, as well as the development of sustainable livelihoods. What a beautiful way to enable development.
Supesi Ntimpirangeza, an animator, or health educator trained by the Lutheran malaria program in Burundi, shares the impacts of effective community development. "[My fellow animators and I] do not get discouraged [by the large numbers of malaria cases]. We were chosen to be volunteer animators in Mwiruzi because they saw our dynamism and diligence. We will continue this way. My hope for the future is that we could continue to teach the community, since we are already trained. That way they can keep progressing."
Photo: Supesi Ntimpirangeza is an animator, or health educator trained by the Lutheran malaria program in Burundi.
Thank you, supporters of the ELCA Malaria Campaign, for enabling this work to happen. It is amazing to think that a single dollar can start the process of saving a life from malaria through testing. Your gifts to the ELCA Malaria Campaign have such an incredible impact. Thank you for helping to develop community malaria leaders like Supesi. Thank you for helping to save lives from a preventable and treatable disease. Thank you for your involvement in the ELCA Malaria Campaign and your support throughout the summer.
And thank YOU, Megan, for the wonderful work you've done for all of us this summer! [Make sure to check out Megan's crowning achievement, the ELCA Malaria Campaign photo gallery, complete with captions, here: http://globalpix.smugmug.com/ELCAMalariaCampaigncaptions.]
-- Jessica and Allison