By Siw Amina

In a house in a small village outside Jinja, we (me, Zakie and Happy) found Sarah. It’s the saddest face I’ve ever seen! She is suffering from Elephantiasis, and her parents had left her because of her illness. Two weeks before we arrived she had been taken from her house were she had lived alone the last month, by an elderly man. What we saw in his house was not good, and Sarah is only 15. She told us she functioned as his ‘wife’.

We took her to the hospital, because her feets were very infected and needed treatment. Hopefully she will have an operation by time. I’m trying to rise money for this to happen! Because of the situation, it is not safe for Sarah to go back to her village, so we have to find out how we can help her in the best way – with school and a new place to stay. I plan to establish a fund, that will take care of both Innocent, Sarah, and The Story Of Sleep Well – from mattresses to the new school (info will come up soon). It’s all connected! Will update about this as it progresses.

Sarah had only the dress she weared, so she got (among other things) the last facebook mattress from the early november effort. Elephantiasis (el-e-fan-TY-a-sis) is the result of a tropical worm infection called filariasis (fil-a-RY-a-sis). When infected mosquitoes transmit the parasitic worm Wuchereria bancrofti to people, the worm blocks the lymphatic system. The blockage causes swelling in the legs or other parts of the body, making these body parts appear large and puffy, or elephant-like. Elephantiasis is not “elephant man disease,” which is an inherited condition with completely different causes and symptoms.