by Brenda Meier Kimaro
Apr 18, 2013
At just five years old, Dorcas is an aspiring actress with an important story to tell. Dorcas learned from her pastor and Sunday school teachers about malaria and now she’s telling others. As part of the Ngaruma Lutheran Parish’s efforts to educate church and community members about malaria prevention, the Sunday school children present educational and entertaining skits about how malaria is contracted, what the symptoms are, and what to do if someone shows signs of the disease.
In her starring role as a malaria-carrying mosquito, Dorcas buzzes around other children in the skit, one who is sleeping under a bed net, others who aren’t. Cleverly costumed using an ink pen in her mouth as a mosquito’s proboscis (the scientific term for its snout), Dorcas is easily able to bite the unprotected children, infecting them with malaria parasites. But much to her dismay, Dorcas is unable to reach the child sleeping under the net. (As Dorcas attempts multiple times to break through the bed net barricade, other children in her Sunday school class sit to the side providing the sound effects for the skit with a collective “Buzzzzz, buzzzzzz, buzzzzzz.”)
As the congregation watches in delight, they are benefiting from the life-saving knowledge that bed nets, when used properly and consistently, provide the most effective protection from malaria. This is also knowledge that Dorcas and her fellow mini-thespians will always have, carrying it into adulthood.