A slim girl in a simple blue dress steps into the center of the circle and her friends cheer. She stomps the red dirt with her new Sole Hope shoes, a giddy grin on her face–grooving until she runs out of moves. Seeming both sheepish and satisfied, she joins her friends at the edge of the circle to high fives and nodding grins.
Harriet Is one of one hundred and fifty students treated by Sole Hope workers today. She watched as workers set up washing stations and white shades, then waited patiently for her jiggers to be removed.
This school is in an area known to have a problem with jiggers. “I had them in my hands and feet,” says Harriet. “The jiggers eat.” When she walked, she had to contort her ankle to keep pressure off the painfully swollen parts of her feet.
When Sole Hope’s team arrived Harriet gathered with other students to have her feet washed and her jiggers removed. She learned how to care for her feet and keep them clean, preventing jiggers from attacking her again.
“Now I am feeling okay because the jiggers have been removed,” she says, “and I have shoes!” She casually taps her foot on the ground as she speaks as if the foot feels free for the first time in a long time.
With a grin she makes her way under the mango tree to dance, receiving a high-five from a Sole Hope educator.
“I feel free,” she says, clasping her hands together. “It has been a good day. I feel I will not be getting the jiggers again.”
Stay funky, Harriet, and stay jigger-free!
Growth and Milestones
The last quarter has been all about moving our headquarters. We have closed down the outreach house and moved out, repainted the beds, and are poised and ready to move into our new space. But through all the logistics, the moving trucks, and the hustle our team has kept its focus on people. Harriet and nearly 1,500 others are jigger free today because of the work of our team across the last three months. We continue to make our best shoes, to search for people who have fallen through the cracks, and to impart hope to each person we meet. Here are just a few things we’ve been excited about in the past three months:
We launched some experimental products for sale in the states. Our team made leather messenger bags and totes. We’re practicing making high quality and beautiful items that can sustain the mission of Sole Hope financially.
An anonymous donor has funded the construction of our clinic building. We plan to complete construction on our current phase and begin the clinic during 2019.
Construction Update: The final touches are being put on the Hope Center as we close the year. We are preparing to have a ribbon cutting ceremony on the 11th of January.
On the Horizon
This year is ending, and we are ready to charge into 2019. So much of what we have been working on will come to fruition this year.
We could not be more excited to be planning to open the doors of the D. Gary Young Young Living Foundation Hope Center! This project has been in the works for years and we can’t wait to celebrate with friends from near and far.
The first few months of 2019 our focus will be growing into our new space. We are moving from a rented guest house to a facility designed with our patients in mind. We will be able to nearly double the number of patients we have been treating, but first, we want to make sure we are treating our people with the best care possible.
We are recruiting four para-social workers in remote areas where we work. These people will be finding and mobilizing patients, doing follow up visits, and assisting their communities to live jigger free. With time, this will lead to increasing the number of patients we are able to treat.
We are looking forward to welcoming several interns with a background in social work from both America and Uganda.
Program Impact by the Numbers
|Initiative||Patients Seen||Jiggers Removed|
|School and Community Clinics||1,230||3,818|
Pairs of shoes made 5,260
Our social workers did follow up visits on more than 354 former Sole Hope patients. 82.5% of those patients we have treated are living jigger free!
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 fourth quarter of 2018, our team successfully treated:
48 cases of malaria
6 cases of Bacterial Diarrhea
7 cases of Skin Infection
3 cases of Malnutrition
1 case of Anemia
We also made the diagnosis and connected people with appropriate local resources to manage 3 cases of HIV/AIDS
A Story about John
As we close out the year, we are honored to have met thousands of people from around the country who are investing in living healthier lives.
Thousands of people who have awed us with their courage and resilience.
Thousands of people who have taken what they learn at Sole Hope and use it to live jigger free forever.
Thousands of people like John.
John is a boy from the mountains that came and stayed with us for two weeks. When he arrived he could barely walk. Now he’s healthy and ready to run. As he packs to return home he can’t keep a grin off his face.
“I feel so fine,” he says, wiggling his toes in his new shoes. “I can play now and even shower. Life is better now.”