When a child’s shoe is no longer the correct size, most of us are fortunate enough that we can go to the store and purchase a new pair for them. Whether it be for an infant, a teenager, or any age in-between, a new pair of shoes is very accessible and easy to buy at any budget in our American society. Generally speaking, the biggest dilemma we face when purchasing shoes is if we want to splurge on the ‘latest and greatest’ or settle for something cheaper. What if there was never an option of which shoe you want to buy because any shoe at any price was out of your price range? What if the shoes that your child has will have to be worn for the next year or two no matter how much they seem to outgrow them?
At God’s Hope Schools in Nakaseke, Uganda, sustainable footwear is a problem for a large majority of our students. Over 2 billion people in the world suffer from soil transmitted diseases and parasites, and at our school we have seen first hand the problem that comes with these parasites. Chigoe fleas (also known as jiggers) are parasitic fleas that enter victims through the feet, and can cause rotting in the effected parts of the body. These have been seen and treated in several of our students, and with our new school compound this problem has been reduced drastically. However, these students still have to walk home on the dirt roads and live in areas without adequate sanitation that are breeding grounds for these fleas and other diseases. Simone’s Kids wants to change that and help keep feet protected. That’s why we are very excited to be launching our new campaign, Feet First.
We have decided to partner with Because International and their project, The Shoe That Grows. They have created a shoe was designed to be expandable and grow with the feet, while keeping a strong build. It is built to grow 5 shoe sizes and lasts for years. After researching the shoe and contacting Because International, we feel that this is the step we need to take to ensure our students have quality shoes on their feet, leading to a healthier and happier childhood. Not only is this helping our students, but this will also be a relief to their families, who will no longer have to stress about trying to provide shoes for their children. We have tried temporary fixes such as buying shoes for students when they need them, but at the rate that feet grow in children, it is time for a more practical solution. The Shoe That Grows is the solution that we have been looking for, and we hope that you will consider partnering with us on our first campaign of 2017, Feet First.