This story was originally published on umcor.org and appears with a photo of Prisca as a bulletin insert in our Mother’s Day toolkit. Honor your mother or grandmother with a lifesaving gift to Imagine No Malaria this Mother’s Day!
Prisca Nekesa was determined to protect her grandchildren from malaria. At age 100, she had outlived her husband and many other family members. Malaria had already stolen several of her grandchildren—she said every time the fever came, she imagined death itself knocking on her door. Her remaining five grandkids, who lived with her in her tiny house, suffered from malaria so often that they could not attend primary school. Medical care was too expensive, so she prayed to God for healing.
The answer to her prayer came in the form of a partnership between UMCOR and the Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme (RUWEPO) to bring insecticide-treated bed nets to Prisca’s community. RUWEPO was started by a group of women in the slums of Nairobi. They were concerned about orphans and other vulnerable children, so they started a school with help from local United Methodist groups. Today, RUWEPO’s programming has expanded to cover HIV/AIDS, Malaria, sex education, and substance abuse. Their project called Grandmothers Against Malaria won a grant from UMCOR through Imagine No Malaria.
Through the Grandmothers Against Malaria project, 633 grandmothers, pregnant women, orphans, and vulnerable children have received insecticide-treated bed nets. 180 health care workers and volunteers have received training through seminars. The seminar topics range from history of malaria, to the disease’s transmission, to home treatment, to environmental management. 190 workshop facilitators and participants have received t-shirts with messages about preventing malaria. Malaria information continues to be spread by local radio stations and case managers.