In South Africa, there are over 7 million children who have never owned or worn a pair of brand new school shoes. These children have become accustomed to walking barefoot across rough African terrain. But in an ideal world, every child should have a pair of shoes to protect them from having to walk barefoot across thorny ground or hot tar…
On Wednesday 24th May, our teams set off in convoy from Durban in the early morning, heading for the Ntunzuma / Newlands area for a special shoe drop delivery of new school shoes for Phikiswayo Junior Primary School. On arrival, with the help of students from Clifton School and Durban Girls College, we jumped into action, setting up branding, making sure the shoes were laced and packing the gift bags of shoe polish and socks so that distribution would run smoothly.
The headmistress hustled the children into a line outside the prefabricated classroom to receive their much-needed shoes. The students from Clifton and Durban Girls College got stuck in, interacting with the children and placing new shoes on their feet. Afterward, Milena addressed the children, and Thuli translated to make sure the message was received and understood. Principal Ndaba then addressed the children and ‘Soul 2 Sole’ crew…
A heartfelt thank you
The Phikiswayo Primary School teachers, parents, and pupils would like to extend their most sincere gratitude to Blue Sky Society and Lion Match for their donations to our needy pupils. We really are appreciative of the relationship that you have formed with our school and our pupils. Our learners are now able to attend school daily and have gained a sense of pride in their school – this is all due to your initiative. The school, as well as its pupils, hope to meet with you again in the near future. You really have left a mark. Thank you again for your efforts. They are truly appreciated!
– Z. Ndaba (Principal of Phikiswayo Junior Primary)
In total, the pupils of Phikiswayo Junior Primary School received:
- 100 pairs of school shoes
- 100 units of shoe polish
- 100 pairs of gray socks
Shoe drop success!
About Soul 2 Sole
It’s still hard to believe that in South Africa, there are over 7 million children who have never owned or worn a pair of brand new school shoes. These children have become accustomed to walking barefoot through our rough Africa terrain. In an ideal world, each child should have a pair of shoes to protect their feet from the hard ground, hot tar, or muddy puddles.
For most western children, a pair of shoes is not a luxury, and children grow up accustomed to having many pairs of shoes, and so they take shoes for granted. The essence of the ‘Soul 2 Sole’ project is to provide a pair of shoes to as many of these children in South Africa as possible. This small gesture can make a profound impact on the dignity of the child, and also give them hope for the future.
It all starts with a pair of shoes. Blue Sky Society Trust started the ‘Soul 2 Sole’ initiative in 2014, and this is the second year that we have partnered with Lion Match Group on this worthwhile project. There is nothing quite so humbling as handing over a pair of new shoes to a child knowing that this one small gesture can impact and improve their lives.
For most western children, a pair of shoes is not a luxury, and they grow up accustomed to having many pairs of shoes. The essence of the Soul 2 Sole project is to provide a pair of shoes to as many underprivileged children as possible.
This small gesture can make a profound impact on the dignity of the child, and also give them hope for the future. The Soul 2 Sole project works to connect individuals and groups with underprivileged schools to provide footwear, funds, or other resources needed by the school and its community.
On 29 January 2016, our teams arrived to an excited buzz of energy at Matabetulu Primary School in Inanda by the Shembe village, Ebuhleni. Over 288 school pupils were on their tiptoes, awaiting the first glimpse of their shiny new shoes.
The children of Matabetulu Primary School received:
290 pairs of school shoes
290 units of Lion Match shoe polish
290 string bags
Educational toys for Grade R pupils
Upon arrival, the team received a warm welcome from pupils, teachers and parents alike, with the children bursting into song, filling the air with a sense of excitement. The proceedings of the day started off with a welcome from the Deputy Principal, a poem read by two students, and a prayer from one of the parents. It was very humbling to see how such a poor community can be so appreciative.
“Thank you very much to Blue Sky Society Trust and Lion Match Group for the gift they have given to our children. It is very rare for us to receive gifts such as these. We are a very poor school and 50% of our children are orphans. Thank you very much, and our only wish is that one-day we can do as you have done to another school. Thank you for everything.” – Principle Simon Gugu Mqadi