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Begin To Serve Kenya-Africa
The mission in Kenya Eldoret, is located within the Slum Town of Langas. We go to poor and homeless communities to show them that they are loved by serving them and teaching them how to become self sustaining. During visits of our missionaries there, we provide food, water and clothing while treating those who are infected with jiggers.
The reality of jigger manefistations and the treatment process is one of the most needed and unique, as you will discover in the overview depicted in photos and videos. You will notice how people get them and how they are treated. The mission videos of ours or others are graphic in nature, and we advise that you proceed to watch at your discretion. They are merely presented to share the details of some of the services involved, and to teach others of the unique issues these poor men and women face here in Kenya.
What are Jiggers?
Jiggers are small sand fleas that are found in Sub Saharan climates, and are most prominent during dry seasons. Jiggers are parasitic burrowers and are also known as Chigoe fleas or Tunga penetrans if you prefer the scientific name. The parasite lives in soil and sand but feeds on warm-blooded hosts, i.e. animals and humans. Since jiggers live in soil and sand found in rural areas, it's easy for people living there to get attacked by these parasitic fleas. In Kenya, it’s estimated that over 1.4 million people are affected by jiggers. Majority of the people are those living in rural areas.
Another characteristic of the flea is that is burrows itself in the feet or hands. This means people who do not have shoes (of which there are many), are likely to be affected by jiggers. This is the case we see in Kenya. In fact, majority of our missions have been concentrated in Western parts of Kenya, although the problem is all over the country.
People in rural areas live in extreme poverty and cannot afford shoes. Moreover, majority of them live in huts with walls and floors made from soil. Soil floors provide a place for the jiggers to live, and when they are ready to lay eggs, they find a host in the inhabitants that don’t wear shoes right within the home. Can you imagine having these type of critters inside your home, worse yet inside your body?
As you can see from the pictures and video above, the feet is full of jiggers. The parasites mostly burrow into the feet because they are poor jumpers, unlike most fleas.
When the female is ready to lay eggs, it will bury itself, head first into the host (human or animal). For humans, the jigger usually looks for soft entry points in the skin, such as areas between the fingers and toes. The jigger will stay under the skin sucking blood from the host until the eggs are fully developed. In about two weeks, the eggs will have fully developed and when ready, they will be dropped out in the same hole that the female flea entered. The female lays about 100-200 eggs at one cycle, affecting over 1.4 million people.
The eggs will hatch after a few days and go through the larvae and pupal stages in about 2 to 3 weeks, to become adults. The adults, still burrowed in the human flesh, will mate and the cycle will begin again. Therefore, while a single female jigger may burrow itself in a person initially, the person can end up with hundreds of jiggers within a few weeks, even if no more jiggers from outside enter his or her legs.
How We Help
Begin To Serve Foundation-Kenya, visits rural villages where cases are common with one purpose in mind; attend to victims affected by jiggers and kill them. Your contribution help to buy shoes,clothes, medical supplies, Bibles and reading materials whenever able. The people are always happy to see us, and enjoy receiving the supplies we bring. From the photos you'll notice their living conditions are very basic. They have no floor covering in their dwellings, and are an easy target for those parasitic jiggers.
After we've helped them to recover from jiggers, we place them on soccer teams.We currently have 14 soccer teams competing against each other. Parents can either look for work or return to their employer, the children are now able to go back to school. Please help us be more effective in helping them.
Over 1.4 million people are infected by jiggers in Kenya! The manual extraction process is a tiring one which requires dedicated volunteers with a lot of patience and a genuine love for others. Donate now to help us in the fight of jiggers.
BECOME A STEP PARENT
Ever wanted to be a step parent? Now you can. Begin To Serve has adopted 3 beautiful children in Kenya who need your help. They are: Cecilia, Brian and Mophart who lost their parents some years ago. They live alone in a small wooden shack and need continuous assistance with obtaining food, rent, clothing and school supplies. As a Step parent, you'll have the opportunity to receive monthly updates on their progress in the form of photos and videos, as well as talking with them from time to time. You'll also have the unique opportunity of meeting them upon our visit to Kenya next year. Help them secure the chance of a brighter future by adopting them now. Contact us for more details.
During team visits to the 7 villages in which individuals are treated for jiggers, we also provide clothes and shoes whenever able. The people are always happy to see us and enjoy receiving the supplies we bring. From the photos you'll notice their living conditions are very basic. They have no floor covering in their dwellings, and are an easy target for those parasitic jiggers. Please help us be more effective in helping them.
Water in Kenya
We recently made water available to a village of over 1,000 residents. This is only the beginning. Having access to clear drinking water has always been problematic, and poor villagers would often drink water from potholes wherever available. This unhealthy practice will become one of the past for many. With you help we can do so much more to help others in need! Please consider donating today. Thank you.