Free to Dance Again

Restored hope

The power of a jigger-free life.

Free to Dance Again

Restored hope

The power of a jigger-free life.

11-year-old Nafunya loves to dance; it’s visible in her steps. The tallest of the young girls at the Hope Center, she’s graceful even when standing still, straight-backed in a simple blue dress, smiling shyly.

It’s difficult to remember that, just two days prior, she struggled to walk. 

In her remote Ugandan village, Jiggers—nearly invisible flesh-burrowing fleas—attacked Nafunya and her 7-year-old brother Wampi. A few jiggers are a nuisance. However, the problem grew into a painful and debilitating infestation. Gradually, the two children’s feet swelled with red inflammation.

Jiggers made moving difficult, and Nafunya became reluctant to attend school, where she faced stigma due to the jiggers.

Nafunya’s parents heard about the Hope Center in Jinja, Uganda which rehabilitates patients with severe jigger infestations. The clinic’s care is free—thanks to Young Living donors—and is designed for the most challenging cases of jiggers. 

When Nafunya first arrived, she gingerly climbed out of SoleHope’s van, walking on the outside edges of her feet like an ice skater stepping off the rink onto concrete. Then she turned to help her brother.

The next day, a Sole Hope worker removed 118 jiggers from her feet. Another gave her shoes, training, and care so that she never has to remove another jigger. Her careful steps on bandaged feet turned to running and dancing. 

Shy on her first day at the clinic, Nafunya now acts as the oldest sibling to a small circle of girls staying at the Hope Center.  They gather on her bed at night, giggling quietly. The girls are thriving, and the staff tells how Nafunya’s sensitive eye for other people helped them transition well to the clinic. 

It’s no surprise when Nafunya says she wants to start a hotel like her mother, who owns a small, tin-roof establishment in the village. 

 Image  Image

Now, she runs off to dance and bat balloons in the yard with the girls. Her brother Wambi presses his fists together in front of his chest and grins, eyes nearly squeezing shut. They’re happy, free to be children again. This painful chapter of Nafunya’s life has closed. 

November 20, 2019
Privacy Preference Center

We utilize JavaScript and cookies throughout our site to provide you with the best digital experience and to measure anonymous data on how users interact with our websites. We feel that it is important that you know what cookies our website uses and for what purposes. This will help to protect your privacy, while ensuring that our website remains as user-friendly as possible.

Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference.

Your cookie settings

These cookies are essential for our website to work properly and are used for things such as navigation, saving your preferences, allowing images to load, and processing donations. We cannot switch them off in our systems. Some parts of our website will not work if you set your browser to block these cookies. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are used to analyze and evaluate the performance of our website; providing information on how our site is used. Data collected with these cookies is used to improve our site design, performance, or stability. We receive this information aggregated and anonymized.

These cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

These cookies enable you to share the content you find interesting. This allows us to provide seamless integration between our websites and the social media networks and tools you like.