Last week, we began our Back To School Campaign initiative that partners with our $10 for Ten program. The main idea is that by providing $10 a month, you ensure that one child is able to be treated for jiggers and spark a new life trajectory.
Below, we share Dembe’s story and how his life has been changed through this program.
STORY OF IMPACT: DEMBE
After miles of potholed roads and a vicious rainstorm, the Sole Hope team was led into Dembe’s house. Dembe is in second grade at his local primary school. He has been struggling in school because of the jiggers in his hands and feet. It’s hard to hold the pencil because of the pain. It’s hard to pay attention because of the itching. It’s hard to learn when people are making fun of you.
Dembe loves school, and he is a smart kid, but his jiggers have held him back. “My favorite subject is physical education,” he says. And yet, because of the jiggers in his hands and feet, he hasn’t been able to participate in the games he loves.
His father put him in the car that first day knowing that Sole Hope could change his life. Dembe has learned at the outreach house that the main way to prevent jiggers is to wash his hands and feet. Before his jiggers were removed, he was unable to put his hands into the water because the pain was too much to bear. “I am most looking forward to washing.” he says.
As he heals and discovers a jigger-free life, we have seen a new light in this little boy. A light that shines through as he picks up and throws a ball. A light that speaks wonders when he picks up a crayon to draw. Dembe has such a bright smile, and yet his first days at outreach he didn’t show it to anyone. Because of Sole Hope, Dembe gets to draw and write without the pain and the stares from his classmates.
He gets to learn. He gets to join in the games he loves. He gets to be a kid again.