Sole Hope is fighting jiggers in Uganda, and we’re not in this fight alone.
Jiggers are gross. They are a parasite, burrowing under the skin on people’s feet and hands. Once there, they swell with eggs and subsist on people’s blood. For low income farming families, a blood sucking parasite is enough to tip the scales towards anemia and malnutrition.
That’s where Give a Goat steps in.
Scott Panella visited Uganda and saw first hand what malnutrition can do to kids and families. “I am a guy from Cleveland,” he says. “I knew nothing about goats or goats milk at that time. However, I could see what it was doing for the many malnourished patients in Uganda.” And just like that he started Give A Goat.
Raising and caring for dairy goats is providing jobs, and the milk from the goats provides much needed protein and fat. Time and again, patients come to our Outreach House anemic, thin, and exhausted. As our team removes the jiggers and feeds the patients, fortifying their diet with goats milk, we see their whole demeanor change. Faces that were lined with worry begin to crinkle into smiles. Tired eyes sparkle with new hope.
Today, Give a Goat is managed by Karim, a farmer with a firm handshake and a bright smile. He has been working with Give a Goat for three years, and was surprised and excited when the opportunity first came up. “It came out of nowhere, it was just like a story, I didn’t know anything about these dairy goats, only the local goats. I had to learn them slowly by slowly” he says.
Today, Karim does know the goats. As they run out to pasture in the morning he greets them by name: Billy, Bridget, Malcolm, Benjamin. I ask Karim if he has grown to love the goats or if caring them is just a job to pay the bills. He shrugs shyly.
“You can’t do any job if you don’t love it,” he says.
“I learned a lot from Scott,” Karim says. “I learned about goats, and how to care for people.”