Shoe Project

SHOE PROJECT

No one should have to wear shoes from a garbage bin.

Students at Kamwokya Primary School have resorted to drastic measures in order to have a pair of shoes to wear to school. Under the Ugandan governments’ Universal Primary Education requirements, students are required to wear a school uniform and proper shoes. Many students wear shoes that are far too large or small for them, other students’ shoes are barely held together.

During our dental mission in 2012, we noticed that this lack of shoes was a problem for many of the students. A student’s performance at school is influenced by many things. Having access to school materials and good health are two frequently-cited, and important, factors. But there are several other components to be considered – shoes being one of them!

“Shoes…affect the child’s health and psychological welfare.”

Development Research and Training, Kampala

Without shoes…

1. It is harder to concentrate in class.

2. A student risks contracting numerous diseases, including jiggers (a common Ugandan parasite).

3. A student may feel self-conscious and face social exclusion.

So we decided to launch a project to bring shoes to the students of Kamwokya Primary School. When we mentioned the idea to Mike Menzies, he immediately pledged $10,000 towards the project. We then turned to Mondetta Clothing, who agreed to design a durable shoe that could weather the slum’s rough terrain.

Over the next year, Mondetta Clothing worked with us to develop a prototype. In addition to considering the durability of materials, as well as colours that would hide mud and dust, the shoe needed to be unisex, as well as be an appropriate design for children aged 3-17. This wide age range also meant that the shoe prototype needed to be available in a large sizing run.

Mondetta Charity Foundation Shoe

Most of the children were unsure of their shoe sizes. On an annual trip to visit the school, MCF President Kish Modha and his wife Divya helped measure the shoe size of each child. Meanwhile, the shoe was manufactured overseas at one of Mondetta’s factories. The shoes were shipped to the port of Mombasa, Kenya, where they were then driven to Kampala in a big shipment container. When our delegation—which included the founders of Mondetta Clothing—arrived at the school in March 2016, the shoes were waiting for us. While the kids were very excited to see us, we knew that part of their excitement lay in the fact that the shoes were soon to be theirs!

During an assembly one morning at the school, the Headmistress asked the students if they had any questions for our delegation. One young girl bravely marched to the front of the 2,000 students, stood on a chair and asked whether it was really true that each student would receive a pair of shoes.  Her disbelief was a reminder that something as simple as shoes can truly make a difference in a child’s life.

On March 23rd, 2016, our delegation held a ceremony with Kamwokya Primary School, as well as Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). During this time, the new Louise Charette classroom wing was ‘officially’ opened. At this time, KCCA Executive Director, Ms. Jennifer Musisi, received the donation of shoes on behalf of Kamwokya Primary School.

Mondetta student uganda question
Mondetta shoe truck unload
We made a human chain to unload the shipment container of shoes!
Musisi Mondetta shoe unveil
Ms. Musisi and Headmistress Jane Kansiime proudly display the shoes and storage backpack to all of the students.
Mondetta Charity Foundation shoes
The students lined up in their new shoes to say thanks!

Check out this short video on the distribution of the shoes!

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Mondetta dental mission

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Mondetta water project