Project Aurora

Project Aurora, a name that means “daybreak” in Portuguese and which was chosen by the community in Mozambique where Ycenter’s participant Joshua Littlejohn worked. This project was designed to bring together a group of stakeholders - individuals, groups, government officials, and students - to create a visual toolbox for malaria education work being done by local community health activists. This was a community-based participatory project.

Joshua talking to local health workers to build a foundational understanding of the issues before starting his work

Joshua talking to local health workers to build a foundational understanding of the issues before starting his work

In 2014 the Center of Hope (CoH), a public health NGO operating in Inhambane province and affiliated with the United Methodist Church, was awarded a grant to focus on eradicating malaria in the areas it served. The CoH is connected to a local hospital, the Rural Chicuque Hospital, which identified the communities most in need of assistance when it came to combating malaria. One of those communities was Nhamaxaxa (Nyam-a-sha-sha), a rural community approximately 6 kilometers (kms) from the hospital and the CoH. As part of the grant, the CoH identified a group of 20 individuals from the community who volunteered to receive basic training in malaria, which included what it is, how it is transmitted, how it is tested for, and how it is treated. Their mission was to talk to their neighbors and inform them of the things they had learned, they earned the title Community Health Activists (CHAs).

A health fair at the Nhamaxaxa community

A health fair at the Nhamaxaxa community

In another, much poorer community with no running water or electricity, called Mukambe feha (Moo-cam-bay fay-ha), which was inland and approximately 85 kms from the CoH, another group of CHAs was formed. 

The solutions that was finally developed were meant to be simple, affordable, easily reproduced, and durable. The solution included a combination of comics, photobooklets, posters, and cards. These materials, aside from the posters, all fit into a single tuckbox like a deck of cards. All the materials can be printed off of any standard desktop printer that accepts A4-sized paper.

You can download and use the toolkit created by Joshua for Ycenter here