Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Post - Michelle Kelly

Michelle is the daughter of The King, wife to Ben, mom to 5 delightful ladies.  She spends her time laughing with her family & at her assortment of animals, learning along with her home educated kids and speaking on behalf of the poor and oppressed.  She blogs about life, living a life of gratitude, and loving the least of these at


In early May our youngest daughter, Chica, planned and held a Lemonade Sale in our front yard to raise funds for malaria intervention. As we helped her prepare for this event, I picked up several books from the library on malaria. What I learned saddened me, discouraged me, and gave me words to speak out.

Malaria is an old disease, its victims are believed to include Alexander the Great, emperors Tiberius and Hadrian, Julius Caesar, Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II. Shakespeare mentioned it numerous times in his works. Laura Ingalls Wilder tells of her family’s bout with malaria in her book Little House on the Prairie

In the early 20th century approximately 5 million Americans suffered from malaria per year, but without a doubt, people in the South suffered the most. A 7 year anti mosquito campaign on Stanton Island, resulted in a reprieve from the parasite as they transformed marshy Stanton Island into valuable real estate. In the South, the hot and humid climate definitely played a role in the high numbers of malaria infection, but the main issue was Poverty. Southern cities and rural areas simply lacked the funds to fight back at malaria in the ways the people of Stanton Island had done successfully.

And today, Malaria continues to be an affliction on those in poverty. Despite the eradication of the disease in many places it continues to plague those in the most poverty stricken areas of the world. Places where the mosquito thrives, where education is lacking, and doctors and medication are few.


BUT People behind organizations like Bite Back are making a difference. One by one they are educating people, giving out medicine and mosquito nets, and planting trees. (certain trees that are quite possibly a mosquito repellent)

This is what our family learned about and worked for in the month of May. It was Chica’s fundraiser, but each member of the family joined in and grew through this experience.

Just $10 can provide a child with an insect repellent treated net, medicine if he is already infected with the malaria parasite and education for his family on how to prevent further infections. Just $10.
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