Rise Up Society (RUS) is a community of people who are taking ACTION about the problems facing humanity. We believe everyone can make a difference in someone’s life. We believe in manifesting Love by taking action. Rise Up is Love in Action! .
As early as 2009, the bells were ringing in Jim Nduruchi’s head with all the corruption, poverty and inaction on the part of government and the church, calling him to RISE UP and challenge things that went unchanged with the much complaining. He started consolidating efforts to ‘get down and dirty’ through volunteer groups, and in the spirit of free community service, he brought together teams and reached out to slum areas, orphanages, hospitals and senior homes, helping a lot of people. In 2011 what had only been done informally was hatched into a new stage by team members forming a board and registering their vision as a welfare society with the attorney general’s office.
The new organization relocated to western Kenya where they have helped thousands of people hurting with jiggers, those without homes, abandoned children, those with severe conditions like multiple burns and cancers. RUS goes to remote villages and films some of the work they do, and their videos are posted on YouTube. YouTube has become an important tool in educating the world about the plight of jiggers and the real life situation in rural Africa.
Because of the nature of our work (working in places that receive almost no publicity) and exposing some ‘embarrassing’ situations, government and pro-government corporate entities have never funded our efforts. We therefore rely on support from partners and well wishers outside Kenya who see our work and send in donations, which we rely on solely to keep our work alive.
We have achieved tremendous success in terms of educating the world about the jigger, illuminating effects of bad governance and the ills of misinformation and superstition to underprivileged sections of society especially in rural areas. Pointing out jiggers in particular, our efforts have brought down the scourge by over 90% and to prove this, you simply have to watch our videos - https://www.youtube.com/c/JimNduruchiRUS.
RUS is a grassroots initiative with the main aim of helping the very poorest of the poor mainly in rural areas, who are forgotten by the government and international community and therefore hurting with preventable issues. Our headquarters is located in Kanduyi, Bungoma County where from our Kill the Jigger initiative is coordinated. Our work stretches out but not limited to five counties in the western belt of Kenya, namely – Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties.
Whereas the poor in urban slum areas get illuminated through proximity advantage and accessibility, the rural poor are always left out because of proximity and accessibility (poor road networks). RUS teams have programs where they reach out to them to help with jigger eradication, education on hygiene, reproductive health and family planning, cancer screening and treatment, project and financial management, farming God’s way among other personal empowerment initiatives.
We are out in the field almost daily, including weekends. We have twenty (20) teams of five (5) who are trained in jigger treatment and management, wound treatment and wound care, hygiene education, family planning sensitization among other subjects that impact directly on the rural poor. Unfortunately due to lack of finances, we’re currently engaging only two (2) teams actively out of the twenty. We’re however lucky to have the trained manpower resource and when we get the needed financial muscle, they will be zooming into the field to help people with the expertise and experience they have.
When RUS set out to treat jiggers years back, it was hard to imagine if our efforts could bear any fruit given the stigma, superstitions and sheer numbers of people afflicted by the bug. Most disturbing was the big number of children who wouldn’t go to school, play or put on a smile on their faces because of jigger pain. These left out children had no childhood, with days, months and years of their tender lives wasted by a bug that would be easily killed to set them free.
Our initial attempts to work with government representatives were met with coldness. Jigger victims were being turned away from health centers where they were ordered to go back home and shower because of the smells from rotting flesh and stigma that even medical professionals attached to these victims. Even the corporate world was unwilling to invest in the jigger plight.
Driven by the fire to create relief and raise awareness, RUS set out with volunteer teams with basic training in community health, armed with scalpels, hydrogen peroxide and disinfectants to kill the jigger. Enlisting the support of community leaders and teachers, they combed through villages, killing jiggers, giving shoe donations where they could, disinfecting homes and offering hygiene education. Follow up efforts were done through follow up volunteers who provided health and even spiritual help where it was necessary.
Five years on, we’re happy to report that numbers of jigger victims have come down by over 90% in areas we’ve worked. We’ve dispelled stigma through sensitization campaigns and helped former victims come back and be incorporated into society.
The future is looking good for our cause, and in a few years, we shall have no jiggers in the western belt of Kenya, where most of our work is concentrated. We plan to expand our efforts after accomplishing our goal in our present marked geographical location.
Our dedicated staff has brought us this far.
Founder & C.E.O
Office & Field Manager