Our Cause

Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary effort of the people of The United Methodist Church, putting our faith into action to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa.

Malaria claims a life every 60 seconds. It’s a disease of poverty, which means that society’s most vulnerable members– such as mothers and small children– are affected most. This is a tragedy.

That’s why the people of the United Methodist Church have made it their business to end preventable deaths from malaria. Imagine No Malaria is a holistic health program that combats malaria through prevention, treatment, infrastructure, communication, and education in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Bishop Hagiya has challenged Greater Northwest Episcopal Area churches to raise $1 million for Imagine No Malaria by 2016. And we will answer the challenge! You can help by:

If you have questions about this campaign or about how your local church can get involved, contact our Field Coordinator Julia Frisbie at inm@greaternw.org.

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Why malaria? How did the United Methodist Church get involved with this in the first place? 

This story begins when United Methodists first sent missionaries to Africa. It didn’t take them very long to figure out that people needed healthcare just as much as they needed to hear about Jesus. So they started meeting people where the need was by building Methodist hospitals and health clinics.

 

Fast forward 160+ years… today, the UMC has more than 300 hospitals, health clinics, and health posts in Africa. A lot of our facilities are in remote areas, at the very end of the road, where people don’t have any other healthcare options. Our health ministry in Africa has been supported by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and The Advance for as long as those organizations have existed. UMCOR doesn’t just provide relief from natural disasters and wars– we also respond to humanitarian disasters, including the senseless deaths of children from preventable disease.

 

We have a large United Methodist network in some of the places that are most affected by malaria. The United Methodist Church is a trusted healthcare provider. That’s why, in 2006, we were invited by the UN Foundation to become a founding partner in Nothing But Nets. Our denomination rallied around the cry: “Buy a net, save a life!” We raised 7.5 million dollars for this cause in just a few years.

 

This was a great step in the right direction, but our brothers and sisters in Africa helped us learn that nets alone won’t end malaria. People also need clean water so that mosquitos aren’t breeding in their neighborhoods. They need medicine so that getting malaria isn’t be a death sentence. They need better health and communication infrastructure. They need education so that they are equipped to identify and treat this disease. That’s why we started our own United Methodist program called Imagine No Malaria in 2010. It’s like “nets plus.” We still distribute nets, but now we do all these other things as well.

 

Our denomination set an unprecedented fundraising goal for this project– $75 million– which is more than we’ve ever raised for a single cause before. The Gates Foundation was so confident in our ability to do it that they made a $5 million grant right at the beginning to cover the campaign’s administrative expenses. That’s why we can make the guarantee that 100% of the money you donate gets to the people who need it most.

 

The United Methodist Church is a standard-bearer for faith-based international aid. We’re developing a comprehensive approach to improving health in Africa. Sometimes this is called “cross-cutting.” We use aid from many different sources– for example, a grant from Imagine No Malaria to improve the hospital, a grant from UMCOR to build wells and latrines, teachers provided through Global Ministries to improve education– to create a sustainable, long-term change. And our efforts are led by United Methodists in Africa. They know better than anyone what they need to be successful.

 

The United Methodist Church looks forward to a day when no more children will live in fear of a mosquito bite. We pray that malaria will be eradicated and that our churches will be able to move on to other projects. But we also know that our malaria efforts are already helping improve health across the board. When we equip communities to deal with malaria, we’re also equipping them to handle diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis, and ebola. We’ve been improving access to healthcare in Africa for almost 200 years. So, it’s safe to say that we’re in it for the long haul.