On Thursday 12th July, Asher Singe and singer Maro led a team comprised of Sole Hope employees and other social workers to the Busoga region in Mayuge District to carryout a workshop based on the ‘Tundula’ project – an initiative that has dedicated efforts and funds towards helping people living with jiggers with an aim of having a jigger free generation in future.
Sole hope is a Non-Profit Organisation based in Jinja whose mission is to offer hope, healthier lives, and freedom from foot related diseases through education, jobs, and medical relief. The organisation focuses on the ‘Zero Jiggers’ mission by sensitizing masses about how to stay safe from jiggers and as well how to safely remove them from the infected people.
The R&B Kyabazinga, Magada Ronald a.k.a Maro talked to us about how the ‘Tundula’ project was born;
Tundula came about after the campaign called ‘Zero Jiggers‘ started by an organization called Sole Hope, a foundation based in Jinja but operating in Mbale, regions of Busoga, Northern regions, and the Western going up to Kasese. One of the interns called Evan Stout is running this project and he came to me and presented me an idea of the song. They talked to me about what they want the song to portray and the message to put across. So I thought about how easily I could urge our people to stay clean with good body hygiene and that is when ‘Tundula’ as a word came about, and the song too.
Right now we are pushing ‘Tundula’ as the theme song because it easily relates with the people and can get them involved.
The founder of Sole Hope, Asher Singe, also talked to us about how she developed the idea to create the Sole Hope organization, and her experience working in Uganda.
Back in March 2010, I was doing some research on the internet and I came across the problem of jiggers in Kenya. I found that the government in Kenya was doing something to help with the problem of jiggers, but there wasn’t anybody actively doing anything about it and I found out the reason mainly was just because of the stigma. People didn’t know that with just education, good hygiene and closed toed shoes they would tackle the problem of jiggers. It should not be something to shame people and make children not to go to school.
It was really that desire to help these children who are really the same ages of my own kids. I understood that if I were the mother on the other side of the world in that same situation, I would want somebody to help my children. From that, I connected with some other Ugandan friends, and Sole Hope was birthed.
Asher Singe believes that the jiggers may not possibly be completely wiped out in Uganda but the real issue to tackle is about those people that are dying from them, and children that are locked up in their homes, not fed and left to starve to death, plus children suffering from secondary illnesses because of jiggers. That is what she looks forward to eradicating.
We also want children to know that if you get a jigger, this is how you remove it. It’s not a stigma. It doesn’t mean that you are cursed, you can remove it. I have seen thousands of Ugandans walk free from jiggers, every person can be set free from them.
We do a holistic approach. We have a medical clinic where we help the really serious cases of people who have jiggers allover their bodies from their head to toes. We also do school clinics where we come in to help children who have a few jiggers. We have social workers that follow up to make sure that these children are properly educated.
She said that they keep records of every single place they visit, every single child or adult that they see, and they always keep checking on them.
We keep coming back to do checks on the progress. We are here for the long whole time, we are not just here to do something quick and pick up and leave. We are here to stay.
Such a good initiative that we are proud of.
We shall keep you updated on all the developments of the ‘Tundula’ project.