There are 10 Soroptimist Clubs in the London & Anglia Region and every 2 years we work together raising funds for a particular joint project. The last 4 years have focused on training nurses at a hospital for HIV patients in S. Africa.
Over the next 2 years we are going for a simple but effective project – the eradication of ‘jiggers’ a parasite usually found under the skin on feet and hands. An estimated 2.6 million Kenyans are infected with jiggers, a flea-like parasite that burrows under the skin. Left untreated, jiggers can lead to all kinds of secondary infections, loss of mobility and even death. Some 1.5 million children cannot go to school because of the condition, which is linked to poverty and poor hygiene. There is currently no drug to cure jiggers, however the treatment is simple and extremely cost effective; jigger-infested body parts – usually hands and feet – are treated with soap, water, potassium permanganate, and petroleum jelly.
This is a way in which a simple solution which is relatively cheap to provide can bring help to a large number of people. We will be working with Neat Hands, Happy Feet that works in the Kwale area. Thanks to our sister Club, Gt Yarmouth for such a great idea.
We’re also raising funds for ‘Toilet Twinning’ – what you might ask! Across the world there are many areas without toilets in homes, schools, villages. So each of our members is working towards twinning their own toilet with another in such an area. The cost of one toilet is just £60, the cost of a block of toilets at a school is £240. Provide toilets and young people are safe when needing to go; puberty aged girls can go to school when they have a period. It makes so much difference to people’s lives.
Following a fundraising Supper in August we had a fundraising lunch this Sunday and together both events have raised £230. So we have already reached our contribution to the ‘Jiggers’ project and we’re almost half way to our project of ‘toilet twinning’ to provide a block of toilets at a school in Africa. Socialising together over a meal with a glass of wine is a great way to raise money for our projects. Thanks to all our Soroptimist members and friends who contributed.