I was so pleased to be allowed to share with the children at VBS about malaria prevention. I made it clear to them from the start that although malaria was eradicated from the United States in 1951 (even before I was born), it is still a problem around the world, particularly in Africa.
Since I was gone during set-up, they graciously put up the mosquito net for me and designed a small booth where I could visit with small groups of children at a time.
I noticed the sign above the area relating to school, so incorporated this into my talk. Many children are dying around the world from mosquito bites, and others are missing multiple days of school from illness. In fact, every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria. The use of bed nets have decreased deaths in some areas due to malaria by 90%. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click here.
The kids loved sitting in the net!
Here, some of the kids are watching Compassion’s “Bite Back” video (see below).
Most of the time I just shared informally with the children, especially if they were really young. They seemed to take a great interest in what I was teaching them. After answering questions, I gave them large index cards and markers on which to draw or write a note to send to Compassion International. This helped them put their thoughts on paper and connect with children in Africa.
This little boy on the far right — Lane — was a caring example for all of us. When his mother came to pick him up one day, she told him that his train table had sold that morning at a garage sale for $10.00. He said, “Great! Now I can buy a mosquito net!” She had no idea what he intended to do with a mosquito net until he explained to her. She told me later that it was quite a sacrifice for him, because he had been trying to save up his money for a long time. I was so touched by his generosity. I will never forget Lane!
I’m pleased to announce that we collected over $670 for mosquito nets throughout the week, which provides 67 nets for needy families! We were putting up “Bite Back” stickers across the front of the stage each day to show our progress.
The children were very enthusiastic and wrote some loving notes about the donations. One little girl drew a circular line with her purple marker (see below, third from the left on top) and put small stickers inside the circle to show that they were safe inside the net. Simple but profound!
(click images below to enlarge)