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Sierra Leone visit shows malaria fundraising impact

By: Phileas Jusu, UM News Service

Sierra Leone

Jan Johnbull (left), 4, visits with Molly McNamara in Baima Songa near Bo, Sierra Leone. Photo by Rev. Gary Henderson, United Methodist Communications.

Molly McNamara and Logan Martens, two teenagers from the United Methodist East Ohio Conference, have been making lemonade since they were 6 years old to help make a difference in the fight against malaria.

Now 16, the pair traveled to Sierra Leone in June to see firsthand the impact of their hard work. They spent a week traveling to different parts of the country where The United Methodist Church has invested resources in the fight against malaria.

“I was really impressed by what (the hospitals) were able to do with such limited resources,” McNamara said. “It was exciting to see that, but I also realized that there is still a lot of work to be done” to expand the church’s outreach.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that kills more than 400,000 people annually, according to the World Health Organization.

The teens, who have been pitching lemonade stands for the past 10 summers, raised $100,000 for the denomination’s Imagine No Malaria initiative, which officially launched in 2010 with a $75 million fundraising goal to fight malaria in sub-Saharan African.

(To read the full story, click here.)