ELCA NEWS SERVICE
December 22, 2011
Lutherans invite students to help end malaria
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The ELCA Malaria Campaign, a campaign of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Lutheran Malaria Initiative will provide new opportunities for college and university students attending Lutheran schools and ELCA campus ministries to engage in the global fight against malaria. Supported with a generous gift from Arne and Ruth Sorenson of Washington, D.C., the campaign and initiative will help equip and inspire young leaders to help make a difference.
Every 45 seconds a child dies of malaria, a treatable and preventable disease that kills more than 800,000 people a year, mostly children in Africa.
"Our goal with this gift is to educate, equip and mobilize," said Arne Sorenson. "We want to raise awareness of the malaria epidemic among students on Lutheran schools and campus ministries, to equip them to inspire their fellow students, teachers and communities, and assist them in mobilizing their communities to make a difference in the fight against this devastating disease. By investing in helping students raise funds for malaria, we're able to multiply the impact of our own gift to reach even more people in need with life-saving prevention and treatment -- and also helping to develop the next generation of leaders in the church."
Through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, the Sorenson College and Campus Ministries Program and Sorenson Social Media Grants will provide funding in the form of grants for students at the ELCA's 26 colleges and universities and campus ministries to implement awareness and fundraising campaigns at their schools. Students chosen as grant recipients must make a commitment to emphasize the ELCA Malaria Campaign on their campuses for two years through activities ranging from guest speakers to video contests.
Through Lutheran World Relief, the Lutheran Malaria Initiative Fellowship will provide opportunities for students at campuses of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod to manage awareness and fundraising campaigns in their campus communities. Each of the students will receive a stipend and a program budget, as well as funding to travel to Africa to learn firsthand about how malaria affects communities and how the Lutheran Malaria Initiative is making a difference.
Students in both programs will make a two-year commitment and receive training in fundraising.
"The generous gift from ELCA members Arne and Ruth Sorenson enables the ELCA Malaria Campaign to build up three strengths of the ELCA: students with a passion to be engaged in God's work of healing and restoring community, longstanding partnerships with churches in Africa who are creating programs for malaria campaign activities, and a strong network of 26 colleges and universities as well as campus ministries," said ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson.
"This is an innovative, forward-looking partnership," said John Nunes, president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief. "We are so grateful to the Sorensons for making this exciting program a reality. Not only will the students who receive the grants have an unparalleled learning experience, the funds they raise through their communities will have a very real impact on communities in Africa struggling with the scourge of malaria."
The ELCA Malaria Campaign, working through Lutheran Churches in Africa, is uniquely positioned to provide mosquito nets, insecticides, medication, health care, education and more to eliminate deaths from this disease -- for good.
The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is a partnership of Lutheran World Relief and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to end malaria deaths by 2015. The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is made possible through support from the United Nations Foundation.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 4.2 million members in 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@elca.org
Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com