Shoes…we wear them every day. Most of us have multiple pairs of shoes and have the option to find the perfect pair to make our outfit look great. Not only do our shoes help show off our personal style, but they also protect our feet from getting wet, dirty, and from infections. Additionally, they allow us to run, jump, and play wherever we want! What if you didn’t have any shoes though and every day your feet were at risk of getting bit by fleas called jiggers? This is true for thousands of people in Eastern Africa, and while jiggers are little they create big problems. This month we are asking our Ambassadors to help make these problems as tiny as the fleas that cause them.
Jiggers are small sand fleas that bury into a person’s skin, often on their feet, and feeds off of their blood. In a matter of days, a jigger swells to over 1000 times its’ original size and lays hundreds of eggs. Once hatched, the eggs lead to painful itching and infection causing the affected person to have difficulty walking. Children are not able to attend school, adults cannot provide for their families, and the elderly are often immobilized in their homes. Once an infected person is no longer able to walk, the jiggers often will move to other areas of the body. While there is no cure, there are preventative steps that the people of Uganda can take to live life jigger free!
This month, we are partnering with an organization called Sole Hope to help people in Eastern Africa become one step closer to living life jigger free! Sole Hope’s mission is to build relationships, provide treatment, and educate people through the Sole Hope Outreach House located in Uganda. At the Sole Hope Outreach House, locals and volunteers from all over the world help remove jiggers, provide shoes, and educate people on how to remain jigger free. We will be helping them this month by putting together Care Kits! After assembled, Care Kits are sent to Uganda where nurses use the contents, along with soap and a wash basin, to remove jiggers, care for wounds, and help patients treat any future cases of jiggers themselves.