Master Otundo is a young boy aged 13 at Eshibinga primary school in rural Werstern Kenya. He joined the school two years ago courtesy of the Free primary school education announced by the Kenya government. He carries a heavy school bag on his back. Clad in tattered clothes that barely conceal his ill-nourished body, the young boy arrived in school on Saturday to be confronted with scores of pupils who were carrying out a computer project. How to use an xo laptop camera. At first he smiled to the cameras happy that at least someone had recognized him. Soon Master Otundo became aware that the cameras were focused not on his face, but at the sores on his feet. Otundo can barely walk as most of his toes have been eaten up by jiggers. What is left of the flesh is a mere fragile skin covered with pus and dead cells. The boy is only one in this school whose feet are infested with jiggers.
My students wanted to share with each other ways on how to avoid jiggers using their computers and also to tell the rest of the world about them. So I asked them to find out the meaning of the word jigger. Today, they all know how to use the ‘wipiedia’ tool and the in build dictionary in the xo to find out the meanings of different words. Washington my top xo laptop student soon shouted out the answer to the rest of the class.
“A jigger, scientific name Tunga penetrans, is a sand flea that is brought about by lack of hygiene and breeds in dirty areas.”
“Correct”, I said and added, “ The impregnated female Tunga embeds itself in the skin under the toenails and feeds on the skin of its host. A jigger-infested foot is completely disfigured; the afflicted person, like your classmate Otundo can barely walk due to the pain from ruptured flesh”.
The resulting social isolation in turn creates a sense of trauma and reduced self-esteem as is evident in mny of the pupils in this rural school. Jigger infestation is largely considered a thing of the past, but in Kenya, hundreds of rural dwellers are living with jiggers in their bodies.
A visit to classrooms at Eshibinga Primary School where several pupils have been attacked by this bug shocked me most. From poverty-stricken homes and in threadbare clothes, these pupils not only contend with excruciating physical pain but also with the piercing ridicule of their fellow students.
I thus suggested to the computer class, to use their laptops to share, take photos and visit homes of pupils infected with this bug in the hope that they will educate them about hygiene. Yesterday, we begun by talking to his class teacher and recording his voice on the xo laptop. . “He comes from a very poor family”, he begun by telling us. This is evident from his worn out school uniform and the fact that he cannot afford to bring lunch like the rest of the pupils, his class teacher confides. “He does without lunch and in the evening; he eats hard boiled maize with nothing else.” From this report we decided to visit his family.
Micah Otundo’s family has been intensely attacked by jiggers. When we visited his house, we were greeted by a foul smell. Like many others, this family of four lives in dire poverty and Otundo’s father admits that they have not bathed for many months for lack of water.
We left the home a sad lot. We are now wondering how can we help Otundo and his family? Can our laptops help us share with the world the kind of situation some of classmates are in? We took many photos using the xo laptops. How can we share those photos with the rest of the world? We need internet connection. More so we need more xo laptops. We only have two. But most pressing, we need Master Otundo to stop having jiggers so that he can improve his self esteem and join our computer class. We want to see Eshibinga primary free of jiggers. We want to see poor pupils in our village school regain inner strength self esteem and join our computer class. We want to see children able to walk properly and not crawling to school,”
I wish I could be president barrack Obama. I would have proudly said “YES WE CAN”! . But I cannot do all these things without your support. I need your support before I can firmly state. YES we can.


About Eshibinga digital village

I need to help kids in this village get connecteds
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