The Shoes That Grow – Changing lives in Zimbabwe

A pair of shoes can change everything. For many children at Ngamo Primary School, in rural Zimbabwe, a pair of shoes is essential to getting to school every day. Through hot, dense sand, children will often need to walk a 10km round trip from home each day.  Torn and either too big or too small, their shoes have a limited lifespan on their expanding feet and in these harsh conditions.

Melissa Wilson, a Wilderness guest who visited the school, very kindly donated 300 pairs of shoes to school children in grades zero through to five at Ngamo Primary. These shoes come with a unique characteristic: they grow. With adjustable straps, buckles and soles, the shoes can accommodate up to five different sizes of feet and are durable enough to last five years. Each year, as their feet grow, the children will be able to adjust the shoes to fit their feet, not having to worry any longer about outgrowing them. The sandal design is also ideal for the sandy conditions at Ngamo, while the strong material will ensure that they last a long time! The concept was developed in America, after the founder witnessed school children without shoes in Kenya. In 2017 alone, over 60 000 pairs of shoes that grow were donated globally.

Beauty Ndlovu, 5 years on being told she looked smart in her school shoes said “and church shoes”

Thank you Melissa and family for these wonderful gifts to the children of Ngamo Primary.

Beautilful photos below by Joe Hanly (Camp Manager at Linkwasha Camp in Hwange, Zimbabwe)