By African Unity Life
Every year, millions of people pass away due to various foot diseases. Often, this is because people don’t have access to shoes and end up contracting these diseases from walking barefoot. Three billion people throughout the world don’t have access to proper shoes and their feet suffer. It’s for this reason that we have partnered with Samaritan’s Feet in South Africa to help address this problem, especially among schoolchildren.
There are 1.2 billion children around the globe who don’t have shoes. Many of these children are walking to and from school without shoes every day. The streets they walk on may be made of rough gravel, littered with sharp objects like glass, or they may have to walk through fields with thorns in order to reach their school. Under these circumstances, it becomes easy for them to contract foot diseases through cuts and infections.
Simple cuts and infections can end up being far more harmful because they often aren’t treated as a serious threat. When children see a sore, they don’t think of the consequences and many children don’t have access to ointments and medicines to treat wounds or infections.
How Samaritan’s Feet give children access to shoes
Samaritan’s Feet and African Unity Life aim to provide schoolchildren between the ages of 5 and 12 with shoes. Samaritan’s Feet source internationally supplied shoes which have already been approved by the Department of Education. By collaborating with local schools, we are able to provide between 100 and 200 children from each school with their first pair of shoes. This can be life-changing for young people who do not have access to proper footwear.
A pair of sturdy shoes will cost around R100 per pair. This is because storage space and distribution costs are added to the cost of manufacturing the shoes themselves, which cost R35. To date, we have donated R5000 towards Samaritan’s Feet in order to contribute to our goal of distributing 500 pairs of shoes.
Shoes can change the lives of these children
Young feet should be protected as infections and foot diseases could injure and even cause fatalities among children. While many children choose to play barefoot, we believe that it should indeed be a choice and not because they don’t have access to shoes.
The lives of these children are difficult enough without the added pain and possible infection that can result from going about their daily lives without shoes. They have the right to an education and to focus on their dreams for the future without worrying about the harm that not wearing shoes could cause.
Support these everyday heroes
At African Unity Life, we have found the experience humbling and we are grateful that we have had the opportunity to work with an organisation like Samaritan’s Feet, which saw a problem and sought to find a solution. The people who make up the organisation are the kinds of everyday heroes we aim to support and partner with, especially founder Emmanuel “Manny” Ohonme. Manny started the organisation with his wife Tracie in 2003. He began Samaritan’s Feet because he was once a child who received the gift of a pair of shoes and understands the struggle of walking barefoot. We want the best for the youth of this country as we believe they will grow up to the everyday heroes of tomorrow, like Manny.
If you would like to join us in supporting this worthy cause, please contact Samaritan’s Feet through their website today. You can simply donate or you can organise a team building event in order to be involved in the process. It is a great organisation to choose for corporate social investment or as a personal cause to be part of.
At the end of the day, we at African Unity Life are happy to have worked with these everyday heroes and we hope our efforts will inspire others to become involved with Samaritan’s Feet.