The veteran volleyball queen, Kenya National Team and Pipeline Kenya Volleyball player, Triza Atuka, hails from Lukanji Village. She is determined to see her village break off from the chains of poverty, economic malaise, social degeneracy, and hard knock disillusionment. She is determined to do this and she has begun with the anti-jigger campaign
Lukanji Area, Idakho Central Ward, Kakamega County, is experiencing the restoration of a hope lost long ago. Their very on daughter, Triza Atuka, is the one who is carrying up a lit candle in the community, the apple of their eye, and with it the hope of the community. The same community that has seen many young people drop out of school and parents struggling to bring food to the table.
In 2016, Triza Atuka, Kenya National Team and Pipeline Kenya Volleyball player who traces her roots in Lukanji sat down and conjured a plan to help her community in the fight against the jigger menace. She teamed up with a number of her friends to raise funds for a clinic with the aim of “creating the Lukanji jiggers’ awareness to the World”.
Atuka invited well-wishers as she solely relied on her savings to fund the initiative raising KES 120,000 by December 2017 to initiate the project. The project was a hit in the village, the community instantly responded, an occasion that posed a challenge for making a more elaborate plan to mitigate the increasing demands in her village and the surrounding areas. This was the genesis of what is now called ' The Atuka Foundation'
The tapestry around the original idea for the Atuka Foundation was aimed at eradicating a menace that had terrorized the community for five years, the jigger menace. This menace came with other maladies in the form of school dropouts, escalated poverty levels, role modelling issues among youth and the degeneration of social order. The objectives of the foundation also included:
- Sensitizing the youths of Lukanji on the benefits of education, hard work in their academic ventures and sports.
- Offering training opportunities (with the facilitation of partner community-based organizations) on major topical issues on the spread of jiggers and how best to eradicate the menace.
- Empower the youths of Lukanji with adequate knowledge and the requisite expertise to confront the sociocultural challenges that they constantly face, including but not limited to increasing school dropout rates, peer pressure, early pregnancies, juvenile delinquency and petty crime.
- Allowing children to enjoy their childhood as any normal child would do with least/no hindrance from the jigger infestation.
Atuka, who is the Magharibi Michezo Awards (MMA) Sports Personality of the year 2016, will be running a drive on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in her Lukanji village and appeals to wellwishers to join in the campaign and support. Below is a transcript of that call:
"Good People, This is to inform you that on Saturday 2 June 2018, I will be at Lukanji Area for my jigger campaign clinic. As you all know I launched a Foundation earlier to help curb this menace around my home area but the response from the neighbouring communities has been overwhelming and hence this clinic. My aim in this clinic is to reach as many as possible in the area to help curb this menace that is denying young kids and families the opportunity to live a normal life as anyone should. I cant do this alone and I appreciate everyone who has been with me through this journey. I hereby humbly request for any help, financial or commodities. If there are clothes, shoes, slippers, anything you no longer use, don't throw them away, they can be helpful to someone somewhere. I'll appreciate if the same is channelled to me and one can contact me through my inbox or the lady tasked with watching over the kids every day in Nancy Shimule on 0723905975 and we will know how we will reach you to collect the same. Thanks in advance." “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” Mark Twain