Putting shoes on their feet
Project Never Walk Alone launched
12 August 2021 | Social Issues
Speaking at the launch, deputy minister of education, arts and culture, Faustina Caley, said access to shoes, perhaps more than anything else, is a clear indicator of how rich or poor a person is, adding that this is more evident in the poorer communities of Namibia, especially in the rural areas.
“It is said that one person in two, or 50%, lives in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Based on this number, there are at least 20 million orphaned children in Sub-Saharan Africa who are without shoes,” she said.
On his part, Project Never Walk Alone founder and chief executive Tim Ekandjo said a child without shoes is normally one of the most visible signs of poverty. “Project Never Walk Alone was inspired by the Namibian child who we have forgotten, who walks barefoot every day and who has never owned a pair of shoes. The purpose of this project is to raise N$2 million per annum over the next five years to provide at least 6 000 children with brand new shoes across the country,” he said.
He said that Project Never Walk Alone has entered into a partnership agreement with Shilongo Leather Works, a 100% Namibian-owned company, that will make the shoes for the project. The shoes will be made of leather with 80% of the material sourced in Namibia. It is expected to have a lifespan of more than five years.
“Shilongo Leather has committed to giving the project a 35% discount for every shoe bought. Project Never Walk Alone will be a reminder to these children that they are not forgotten and that their lives, dreams and aspirations matter, and that poverty is a state of mind that they can walk out of given the right pair of shoes,” Ekandjo said.
Many companies have shown their support pre-launch and the project has already raised N$1 million. – Nampa