Today, I'm proud to have a guest posting. Hunter, our oldest son, decided on his own to advocate for ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES with his school, who I feel knows little of social or humanitarian activism. He spent his Friday and Saturday working on a proposal, which he partially wrote up and partially plagiarised (as TOMS intended). Below is the letter he has written to the headmaster asking for clearance for the student body to participate in ODWS. Proud of this kiddo. He's a keeper.
Dear Mr. SO and So,
Last spring, my family spent 5 weeks in Africa. I saw life in Ethiopia and in Tanzania. This opened my eyes to the true meaning of poverty. People all around me (people, who became my friends and family), people just like you and me that happen to live in a poor country without infrastructure, struggled just to live. I came to know children, who would never attend school simply because they do not own shoes. I saw women climbing barefooted down mountains with bundles of sticks on their back hoping to sell them. Lack of shoes made their journeys harder and more painful. I saw grown men digging through dumps to find food. Their feet were lacerated because they didn’t own shoes. Women, children, and men walked through open sewage on the streets without shoes. Inevitably, this leads to disease.
In fact, in Ethiopia, approximately 1 million people suffer from podoconiosis. Podoconiosis is a debilitating disease caused from silica and aluminosilicates in the soil embedding in the soles of the foot. Podo affects the lower legs and feet with pain, sores, swelling, growth, and cracking; and it is 100% preventable. It can be remedied by a pair of shoes.
People in poverty-stricken countries walk miles and miles a day. Lack of clean water, no infrastructure, not having money for cars, no form of public transportation, and a shortage of nearby stores to purchase food means people must walk. People need shoes for the simplest of activities, but they go without. ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES offers us an opportunity to raise awareness and create change for people in need.
Ethiopia and Tanzania are not the only countries that suffer with a lack of shoes. It’s just I have personally seen the needs here. Poverty is personal to me. My youngest brother was born in Ethiopia. Every time I look at him, I remember what I saw. I know if he had grown up there, he would not have shoes, clean water, food, or be able to go to school. Mezekir is the reason I am committed to do my part to create change. This is why I am asking Small Town School to join in on ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES. Please, consider my request.
Barefooted a Reason and Proud of It,
|My Reason To Go Barefoot|