‘Worm War­riors’to hold an­nual banquet in Fran­co­nia

Souderton Independent - - NEWS - By Jen­nifer Con­nor

“Worm War­riors” from all over the rnited States and world will con­vene at Fran­co­nia Her­itage Res­tau­rant Fri­day, Sept. 21, to tell the sto­ries of those helped by the Worm Project.

The Worm Project sprouted out of Claude Good’s mis­sion­ary work in Mex­ico when he was in his 20s. Now in his 80s, Good grew his so­lu­tion to the is­sues sur­roundLnJ SRvHUWy hH fiUVW wLWnHVVHG Ln a small moun­tain vil­lage decades ago to ef­fect change in nu­mer­ous coun­tries.

“$W fiUVW WhH vLOODJH SHRSOH wHUH very un­will­ing to ac­cept help from us be­cause they thought we were spies try­ing to steal their land,” Good said. “But, as we gained their trust, they al­lowed us to be­gin to give them medicine.”

Af­ter notic­ing that worms were tak­ing a toll on their health, Good and his girl­friend at the time (who be­came his wife), de­cided they needed to do some­thing. All they were aware of was a liq­uid mediFLnH WhDW wDV GLI­fiFuOW WR DGPLnLVter

Worms, such as the hook­worm, en­ter the body through the feet; oth­ers en­ter through the mouth dur­ing their egg cy­cle, ac­cord­ing to the Worm Project’s web­site, worm­pro­ject.org. Worms feed on their host’s blood and the nu­tri­ents in the di­ges­tive sys­tem. When lo­cated in the di­ges­tive sys­tem, they can be­come heavy feed­ers. Worms thrive in warm cli­mates, where sta­tis­ti­cally more poverty thrives. The large As­caris worm can con­sume up to 25 per­cent to 30 per­cent of a child’s daily in­take of food. A child con­sumes about one pound of food a day and rid­ding a child of worms saves at least one ounce of food a day, which is about 20 pounds of food over the six months that a pill, which the cou­ple later found out about, is ef­fec­tive, ac­cord­ing to the web­site.

“Then we came back to the states and saw how much food ev­ery­body has up here. We de­cided to live as sim­ply as pos­si­ble,” Good said.

The cou­ple saved the money they would have spent on food lux­u­ries in or­der to re­turn to the vil­lage high up in the moun­tains and pro­vide medicine to help al­le­vi­ate the prob­lem of worms.

When they re­turned to Mex­ico City about a year later, they dis­cov­ered a chew­able tablet called Al­ben­da­zole that could be bought in bulk for a rea­son­able amount of money. The drug treats the three par­a­sitic worms that cause the great­est dam­age in the hu­man body.

The Fran­co­nia Con­fer­ence runs the Worm Project and hosts an an­nual banquet where it serves a “Third World Meal,” which this year will in­clude beans, rice and a pick­led cab­bage-type dish. The meal is free of cost but do­na­tions are en­cour­aged. The or­ga­niz­ers of the event as­sure po­ten­tial at­ten­dees that they will have plenty to eat.

“The unique­ness of the Worm Project is that we ask peo­ple to give up an item a day — a can of soda, Star­bucks or eat­ing out,” said Diana Geyh­man, a board mem­ber. “Then we ask peo­ple to save the money they saved from cut­ting out that lux­ury and do­nate it back.”

The banquet will be held Fri­day, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. at Fran­co­nia Her­itage Res­tau­rant, 508 Har­leysville Pike, Fran­co­nia. Reser­va­tions are en­cour­aged and can be made by call­ing 267-9326050 ext. 0, but walk-ins are wel­come.

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