Boots That Delivered

charity unicef boots

If these boots could talk, they would tell you an amazing story. Worn by Canadian Nigel Fisher, they have visited thirteen countries and have trekked over 100,000 kilometres during thirty years with the UN and UNICEF. They have walked through deserts, mountains, tropical rainforests, jungles, sandstorms and torrential rains. Nigel’s footwear brought emergency and vaccination programs to millions of children.

These boots navigated through the perilous rubble of Port-au-Prince after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. They witnessed negotiations between the Afghan government, the opposing Northern Alliance and an international coalition to ensure a polio vaccination campaign could proceed following the bombings when war broke out in 2001. Nigel wore them when he visited a UNICEF-supported shelter for girls in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo, who had been brutally raped by militias, some of them captured for years, many with babies.  The stories go on and on, just like the boots did.

Canadian humanitarian Nigel Fisher’s life-saving boots were inducted into the Bata Shoe Museum in 2012.

http://www.unicef.ca/en/video/the-story-of-a-pair-of-boots

https://secure3.unicef.ca/site/SPageServer?pagename=about_boots&s_locale=en_CA

http://www.unicef.ca/en/press-release/canadian-humanitarians-life-saving-boots-inducted-into-the-bata-shoe-museum

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A Community Effort To Get Australian Kids Walking

Walk to school logo for Aussie campaign

Every October is ‘Walk to School’ month in the state of Victoria, in south-east Australia. Primary school students get some top-down encouragement to walk to and from school. This proactive program gets everyone going – children, parents, teachers and street-crossing guards. It aims to set new habits in motion.

Parents and teachers help kids keep track of their walks using the ‘Walk to School’ website, app or class calendar. Children play interactive games on the app, earn items for an imaginary ‘Walk to School’ journey with each completed walk, and compete with other schools.

The ‘Say G’day Challenge’ is a highlight on Friday October 24.  Each child on foot or on bike who says “G’day” to their local street-crossing guard receives a ticket to enter a draw for special prizes.

Last year more than 32,000 students from 303 primary schools took part in ‘Walk to School’.

Details and photo of logo from:

http://www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/WalkToSchool.aspx

New Shoes Help Kids Cross Barriers

From: Helping homeless kids put their best foot forward       By Laura Klairmont, CNN

When five-year-old Nicholas Lowinger visited a homeless shelter, his mother cautioned him not to show off his new light-up sneakers to the kids there. Nicholas soon understood why.

“I saw other kids my age who looked just like me. The only difference was, they were wearing old, tattered shoes that were falling apart. Some didn’t have a pair of shoes to call their own,” said Nicholas, now 15. …”Homeless children…shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to play sports or go to school because they don’t have a pair of shoes.”

That first shelter visit left a strong impression on Nicholas, who started donating all the shoes he’d outgrown to local shelters. But he quickly realized that his donations, while well-intentioned, weren’t that helpful. “It bothered me that I only had used shoes to give to them instead of new shoes that fit right,” he said. “No two people’s feet are identical, and if you are wearing someone else’s worn shoes, your feet aren’t going to be very comfortable.”

So in 2010, at the age of 12, Nicholas started a program that donates new shoes to homeless children…”I didn’t want to make one donation and stop there,” he said. “I wanted it to be something I could do for the rest of my life.” With the help of his parents, he then started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation. Since 2010, the organization has donated new footwear to more than 10,000 homeless children in 21 states.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/26/us/cnnheroes-lowinger-homeless-shoes/index.html?hpt=hp_t3