Any parent could tell you that kids’ feet grow fast! Many parents in the developed world grumble about how often they are forced to fork out for new shoes. For children in developing countries, however, the money isn’t always there to replace shoes when they are needed. This means that even just a few months after receiving some shoes, children can be running around barefoot again.
In developing countries, there are very serious risks associated with being barefoot. As well as the risk of standing on sharp objects and cutting their feet, children are at risk of picking up soil-borne parasites or infections from walking on soil. Over 2 billion people are thought to suffer from soil-borne infections and parasites each year, and it is believed that many of these cases are down to a lack of shoes. Children in developing countries may not have access to clean water, proper sanitation or medical care. If they get sick, they have to miss school and may not be able to help their families.
One non-profit organisation, Because International, has come up with a unique solution to this issue that impacts millions of children worldwide. Kenton Lee, an inventor from Idaho, noted the problem whilst working in Kenya, and made it his mission to come up with a solution. Walking next to a young girl wearing shoes much too small for her feet, Lee realised that donating shoes wasn’t enough because children’s feet grow so fast. And so, Lee designed a shoe that can expand up to five sizes. This shoe is available in two sizes to fit children from age 4 to 9, or from age 10 to 14, allowing them to get a lot of wear out of just a single pair of shoes.
How Does The Shoe That Grows Work?
The shoes are sandals that feature a number of poppers, allowing the shoes to be made bigger as the child’s feet grows. The shoes can be made longer and wider, allowing them to last up to five years.
How To Help Support The Shoe That Grows
You can buy a pair of the shoes (or more!) through The Shoe That Grows website. The shoes will then be sent to a partner organisation in a developing country. The shoes are being sent in duffle bags to children in need across the world. One pair of shoes costs just $10 USD, and could last a child up to five years. The shoes are being sent to children in Kenya, Haiti and Ecuador, as well as other places across the world.
The shoes are currently out of stock until July thanks to an amazing amount of well-deserved publicity, but there is a new shipment of shoes arriving shortly. Any orders made now will be sent out then. It is estimated that there are up to 300 million children without shoes across the world, so every pair helps.