Faith Practice: Sole Hope
By the Rev. Lisa Isenhower
They are called “jiggers”—not to be confused with chiggers—and these small parasites are a crippling problem in Uganda. Carrie Nicholson, the group leader for Sole Hope, gave the group’s participants a brief description of the jigger problem and a chance to participate in what Sole Hope, a not-for-profit ministry, is doing about it.
In Uganda, where many people have no shoes, jiggers are a scourge. They enter the body of the infected person through the soles of the feet. Left untreated, the jiggers cause crippling deformities that prevent victims from walking—thereby preventing them from working, walking the necessary distance to sources of clean water, or (in the case of children) attending school.
Sole Hope works to provide inexpensive shoes—made from recycled denim (yes, old blue jeans!) and tires—to people in Uganda. Along with providing shoes, Sole Hope helps by removing the jiggers from infected people and providing other medical care as needed.
Participants in this faith practice helped to cut pieces for shoes out of old denim. Then they gathered the pieces needed for a single pair of shoes and pinned them together. These pieces will be shipped to a center that gathers, sorts, and packs them for shipment to Uganda, where they will be constructed by local seamstresses and then distributed to those in need.
People who want to get involved in the ministry of Sole Hope can visit the Sole Hope website at SoleHope.org.