Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day 10: Sole Hope Jigger Removal Clinic

Day 10 began with yet another trip to the Source Cafe. But this time we decided to grab a boda (motorcycle). You can ride for just 1,000 shillings which is like 35 cents - super cheap. I would never ride a boda in a busy city like Kampala but the Source is only about 5-10 minutes away & the drivers go pretty slow if you ask them to. This was my second time on a boda - first time freaked me out but this time was pretty fun ;-)

Today was the day we were all looking forward to so much because we got to serve at a Sole Hope Jigger Removal Clinic. (To find out what jiggers are, go here - but you've been warned. Once you know about jiggers, it's your problem, too. ;-) But there are lots of ways you can help and be part of the solution.) 

Sole Hope holds these clinics on Tuesdays at the Sole Hope Outreach House where they can treat up to 30 children and caregivers and on Thursdays, typically at schools, where they might serve between 50 and 150 children but often times more than that. 

So we first hopped in the Sole Hope van and went to the Outreach House for a briefing and to meet up with all the other volunteers - there were about 30 that day!

Executive Director, Dru Collie, gave us a quick tour of the house and told us they were actually getting ready to lose the lease on this place but they will be building a new Outreach House on their new piece of land where they will be building their forever Sole Hope home soon!

After the briefing, we made a huge caravan of cars and vans (quite the sight!) and drove about 45 minutes away to a school where we were greeted by about 150 students. The Sole Hope staff unloaded their vans full of shoes and medical supplies (they have this down to a science - so organized!) while the volunteers played games and danced with the kids. This was a fun way to ease their minds as to what was about to happen...

After we had some fun, the volunteers were assigned their roles. From our group, Andrea was a "comforter" and also helped pass out suckers to the kids being treated; Jamaica, Sonya, Nicole, and I were "feet washers" and Kerry helped put new shoes on the kids after they were treated for jiggers. Jamaica also was a "recorder" and recorded on paper where jiggers were found on the kids that were treated. Then we got to work...

The kids were so excited and proud to get their new shoes. They also were educated on ways of preventing future jigger infestations.

Photo credit: Kerry Banzet

Photo credit: Kerry Banzet

Photo credit: Andrea Miller

Photo credit: Andrea Miller

Photo credit: Andrea Miller

Photo credit: Andrea Miller

Photo credit: Andrea Miller

Good news is that we were able to treat about 150 children and a few elderly that day. Sad news is that we actually ran out of shoes and didn't have enough to pass out to some of the children. We saw first-hand how important it is for us in the States to host Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Parties so the shoes can keep coming. 

Sadly, this poor little girl didn't get a pair of shoes...

but Sole Hope kept track of those kids and they'll go back soon and make sure every child that was treated also receives a pair of shoes. They also re-check kids and make sure they remain jigger free.

This was, by far, was our hardest day in Uganda. Seeing kids have jiggers removed from their feet was excruciating to watch, yet we had to be strong for them. Often times we had to turn our heads to cry so the kids wouldn't see tears in our eyes. But it was also truly such a special day for us because most of us have hosted Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Parties in our own homes and for us to see a jigger removal clinic in person made everything come full circle. (Here's a few pics of a party our family held last year.) Hosting a party is so simple and fun - anyone can do it! So PLEASE, go to their website, find out more about Sole Hope and how you can get involved. Your small contribution helps in big ways half way around the world. And if you are on facebook, I hope you follow Sole Hope and stay attuned to the daily work they do because they are doing great things in Jinja and surrounding villages.

‪#‎PartyWithAPurpose‬ ‪#‎Uganda‬ ‪#‎solehopeuganda‬ ‪#‎solehopeoutreach‬ ‪#‎zerojiggers‬ ‪#‎ActionsSpeakLouder‬

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