Shoes are a foundation to good health. In Uganda, children are forced to walk barefoot for miles to gather clean water, to visit a doctor or to go to school. Diseases such as hookworm, jiggers, tetanus and other parasites enter the body through the feet. These diseases can stunt a child’s growth and development, as well as cause life-long cognitive impairment. Walking barefoot in rocky or muddy terrain can also cause injury to a child’s feet, further opening the possibility for infection or disease.
Shoes provide education
Many schools around the world require children to wear shoes to attend, but for many poverty-stricken families, shoes are a luxury they cannot afford. Studies also show that children who are healthy are more likely to be successful in school and have higher attendance, therefore increasing their chances of obtaining critical education to succeed in life.
Shoes provide hope
For many of the children we serve, new shoes are a constant and urgent need. Typically, children in orphanages share everything. They do not own a single possession to their name. So when you give an orphan a pair of shoes, it communicates love and helps them know they are special. They are not forgotten. Shoes provide hope for these children that someone out there cares about them and loves them unconditionally.
Why preferably new shoes?
They last longer, and as a gift to a child, they communicate volumes about what someone is worth. Simply put, we think the children we serve are worth it.