As we enter the second half of 2018, our team in Uganda is relentlessly searching for the most vulnerable people in the country. We are finding widows who have fallen through the cracks, and children who have been overlooked. We are finding grandparents struggling to raise their grandkids in a changing world and parents struggling to do the best they can while their kids fall prey to a parasite they don’t understand.
Our team finds these people, loves them for who they are, and helps to set them free.
Thanks to everyone who is supporting Sole Hope, we are seeing lives transformed every day here in Uganda. Your actions and your generosity are changing lives! Your support is rescuing people from the most difficult situations and slowly transforming a nation.
Thanks to you, this quarter 1,920 people went home wearing sole hope shoes and jigger free.
1,920 people were shown that they are valuable.
1,920 people felt love.
1,920 people learned how to live jigger free forever.
1,920 people now have the chance to live healthy and productive lives, free from the parasites that were sapping their potential.
When William came to Some Hope he didn’t speak and he had stopped walking. Today, five days later, we are walking together around Sole Hope, laughing at jokes, planning for the future, and talking about life.
William holds his hands out at the height of his knee. “Both my parents died when I was this age,” he says. Aunts and uncles pitched in to care for him and he moved from house to house. William knew that he would have to work hard for the life he wanted and he took whatever jobs he could find to earn money. He carried water, collected trash and hauled it away, and threw bricks to masons working on multi story buildings.
When jiggers took over his life, William thought he was suffering from a curse. He rubbed axle grease on his hands and feet and kept moving… until he couldn’t. Sick, depressed, and immobilized, William began to give up on his life.
Farouk, a senior in college who volunteers with Sole Hope spotted William and recognized his problem immediately. He brought him to the outreach where it took our medical team nearly all day to remove over 1,950 jiggers from his feet, hands, elbows, and backside.
Our team first thought William was mute. He didn’t communicate and he showed no signs of emotion. But as the days pass, William is coming back to life. “After the jigger removal, life is very clear for me,” William says.
The future looks different now for William. He’s engaging with people who care about him. He’s thinking about the future. Best of all, he’s walking. “I feel so so so good,” William says, slapping his hands together for emphasis. “I feel steady.”
Growth and Milestones
A New American– Emily May has joined our team in Uganda as the International Coordinator. Emily has a masters degree in Nonprofit Management and worked with Sole Hope for five months as an intern in the nonprofit management track in 2017. We are so happy to have her on board.
Tundula- Maro, a popular Ugandan musician has teamed up with Sole Hope to write, record, and produce a music video. The video called “Tundula” which means “Remove it” is in the final stages of production and will be released in mid July, 2018. The video will be on national TV and the song will be played heavily on radio stations across the country. The goal is to educate about jigger removal and prevention and destigmatize the condition.
Construction Update– As we write this report the final coats of paint are being put on the shoemaking workshop and the wiring is being done. The Hope Center is being roofed while finish work is happening on the first floor. We can’t wait to get working on the new site!
Shoes for Every Child– After some trial and error, Sole Hope has begun to regularly put shoes on the feet of each and every student in the schools we visit. Students, teachers, and our team are overjoyed to be able to do this effectively.
Visitors- Sole Hope has hosted various teams including our Advocates and the first ever family trip. Parents and kids as young as 6 years old came and served alongside the team in Uganda. It was an incredible time for the families, and also for our team to connect with families from across the world.
Interns- Sole Hope currently has six interns from the United States and four from Uganda. It’s great to have their fresh eyes and enthusiasm with us.
On the Horizon
Product development– We have some interesting products in the pipeline for winter market and are exploring shoemaking as another revenue stream for Sole Hope.
Moving- Shoe Making and Tailoring will be moving out the the Buwenda site this quarter. We are excited to see this dream becoming a reality and have such a higher capacity.
Public Awareness Campaign– Evan Stout, a public health intern is partnering with Maro, the King of R&B in Uganda to make a music video that is educational, fun, and reduces the stigma around jiggers.
Electronic Follow up and Intake– We are working closely with Chloe, our Public Health Consultant to digitize our follow up and intake forms. This will be very important for tracking data as well as providing an extra layer of accountability for our field staff as we begin to open up satellite locations around the country.
Pairs of shoes made 5,199
Follow up cases living jigger free : 93%
At the Hope Center, a patient’s treatment begins with a thorough physical by Doctor Paul. He and the team of nurses treat each patient for other preexisting conditions they may have. In the second quarter of 2018, our team successfully treated:
61 cases of malaria
6 cases of Bacterial Diarrhea
30 cases of Skin Infection
4 cases of Malnutrition
2 cases of Anemia
15 Respiratory tract infections
5 Urinary tract infections
4 cases of Measles
We also made the diagnosis and connected people with appropriate local resources to manage
5 cases of HIV/AIDS
6 cases of Hypertension
9 cases of Epilepsy
Muhammad is a single father of Fourteen children.
He hauls branches from the edge of a nearby forest and makes them into charcoal to sell at a local market. When business is slow, he goes to work in his neighbor’s gardens in exchange for food for his kids.
When jiggers began to infest his kids, Muhamad felt the weight of parenting alone in a whole new way. His 9-year-old son couldn’t make it to school, and the others began to grow sick. As Muhammad tried to remove his son’s jiggers, the boy began to cry, and Muhammad felt his own . He knew he needed help, and he reached out to Sole Hope.
Thanks to your support, Muhammad’s kids will go home next week jigger free and they will all head straight back to school. They have been successfully treated for malaria, and are growing strong again as they enjoy regular meals.