In 2009, through the Building Hope Campaign, our diocese raised money to purchase 10,000 mosquito nets to help protect our friends in the Diocese of Buyé in Burundi, Africa. We received the following heartfelt letter of thanks, as well as pictures of the distribution of nets, from Bishop Sixbert Macumi:
Dear Bishop Jane Alexander,
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I hereby want once again to thank you so much for the assistance of 10,000 mosquito nets you sent via Episcopal Relief for Development (ERD) to Buye Diocese.
The distribution took place on December 17, 2010 in two areas: Mwumba and Gashikanwa. Three thousand, three hundred and thirty vulnerable people have been assisted. including pregnant and breastfeeding women and very aged people. Each person got three mosquito nets – one for themselves and two for other household members.
It was in May 2009, during my visit in the Diocese of Edmonton, that I presented the case of malaria in Buye Diocese. I received hope that some mosquito nets would be collected and sent to assist those who are at high risk and who cannot afford the mosquito nets.
This project gives the hope of life to vulnerable people because malaria is killing many of them in Buye Diocese and in Burundi at large. The consequences are huge including lost days of work, high treatment cost and death, among others.
To implement the distribution of nets effectively and efficiently, a diocesan committee, local government officials, and health workers worked together in full collaboration to identify target groups, provide training for the proper use of mosquito nets and distribution.
During the distribution, the beneficiaries were informed that it was through the Buye Diocese’s partnership with the Diocese of Edmonton that the mosquito nets were sent to decrease the widespread rate of malaria in Buye Diocese and provide hope to its many citizens.
Heartfelt appreciation and thanks from government officials and net recipients has been expressed to the Buye Diocese, and especially to the Edmonton Diocese. For example, Mr. Emmanuel Nyandwi a County Chief said: ‘’I appreciate so much Edmonton Diocese to have the willingness to assist our people whom they do not even know. I pray God to bless its work in return and I call upon other well wishers to do the same.”
Mrs. Patricia Harerimana who received mosquito nets said: “I and my family members have been suffering from malaria several times and I even lost my firstborn. Due to poverty we were unable to purchase by ourselves mosquito nets and by this gift I hope that we shall be prevented from getting sick of malaria. Thanks be to God for using Edmonton Diocese and Buye Diocese to think about the poor people we are and provide us mosquito nets to give us hope for improved health.”
Local government officials, as well as the health workers and the beneficiaries concluded their appreciation by requesting that the Buye Diocese in collaboration with its partners, including Edmonton Diocese, continue to expand this helpful activity so that many remaining vulnerable people can be helped.
I also take this opportunity to send you some pictures taken during the mosquito net distribution. May the almighty God bless you and all the people who contributed to make this project possible.
Yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. Sixbert Macumi