Each Minute Counts, The Arusha Discon

Article by Simeo Ssebukulu, Malaria Partners Uganda

From the 12th to the 14th of May 2022, Rotary District 9214 held its 97th District Conference in Arusha. Over Six hundred participants were in attendance. Rotarians, Rotaractors, interactors and guests had a chance to discuss and vote on important District matters. Local and international speakers too gave information on topics relevant to District members. DISCON was the time to network, reconnect with friends and find inspiration for continuing service and community leadership.

Like it was with Naivasha, there was a house of friendship at the 97th Conference in Arusha. MPU took part in exhibiting at the house of friendship Booth to engage partners, including Rotary and Rotaract clubs. Besides advocating for increased stakeholder engagement at the macro level, the fight against Malaria is still viable at the micro-level. Our Booth at the house of friendship focused on sensitizing, mindset changing and information disseminating.

This time, travel restrictions on plants did not permit the carrying of mosquito repellents. Instead, the famous and common Lemon Grass was acquired in Arusha, as the remaining Four Mosquito repellent plants were exhibited online including Basil, Rosemary, Neem Tree, and Mint. Guests at the booth walked away with information about each of these including their mosquito repellent specifications. Participants got information on how long these plants take to grow and what is required to grow them around their homes. The Shea butter mosquito repellent jellies were still available for grabs at Shs. 5,000/= UGX. The jelly made of shea butter and lemon grass is applied as a Vaseline to keep mosquitoes away. This attracted traffic at the booth much as many would not move with cash on them at the Conference.

Ever wondered whether the gospel on small grants expires?  Not even the absence of a Screen at the Booth could stop this “preaching”. The Laptop at our Booth did wonders. From Kanos4Kakindu Malaria project to RC Busia’s Busiime. RC Kyengera, RC Arua project pictures too featured on the slideshow. MPI Videos on Malaria were a highlight to Visitors at the Booth. Confirming our partnership with the Global Community. At the end of an average 5mins conversation for each of our visitors, a colorful, detailed brochure about the programs, activities, mission, vision, contacts and the Board of MPU followed.

Igniting a Rotarian campaign against malaria in Uganda has never been smoother, following a well-organized, highly mobilized and excitingly attended DISCON. Fingers crossed for the Joint DISCON in Mbarara come the 27th April 2023. Will you be Malaria Smart enough to witness…?

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