Greetings from Mali. I know right now there is a lot going on in Mali politically, but that’s not what I am going to write about today. I wanted to tell you about Stomp Out Malaria Month and what that means for volunteers. April marks the beginning of Stomp Out Malaria month. Peace Corps Volunteers are encouraged to do a push for Malaria prevention related projects in our villages. Malaria kills over 2 million people a year. It is a sickness which can be prevented by taking simple steps such as sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing mosquito repellent and wearing clothing which covers the arms and legs. Deaths from Malaria can be prevented by being tested and seeking treatment as soon as Malaria symptoms are present.
Volunteers in Mali are working with our community members to make natural mosquito repellent, show creative ways of hanging up mosquito nets, and educate our community members on what Malaria is, how to avoid it, and how to treat it. Out of all the work we do with Peace Corps, I think one of the biggest impacts we can have on the lives of people here is to do this type of work. Malaria is a senseless, completely preventable sickness, and if communities across Mali work hard and change behaviors related to Malaria prevention and treatment, thousands of lives can be saved.
I plan on painting Malaria murals in my community and three other communities near me, holding a neem cream formation on how to make the natural mosquito repellent with women, and teaching kids about Malaria through songs and dances.
If you’re interested in learning more about what volunteers in Africa are doing to Stomp Out Malaria, check out twitter and facebook (Stomp Out Malaria).
I hope you’re all doing well in the States! I miss you guys and thank you so much for supporting me throughout my journey. I’ll update this blog soon when I find more information out about what might happen to us Volunteers in Mali… whether we will be able to go back to our sites or seek other options.