UPDATE: Apr. 6, 2011Local news video spotlighting One Day Without Shoes at our Global Ministry Center.


Apr. 5, 2011 – Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk.

  • A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
  • Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.
  • Many times children can’t attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don’t have shoes, they don’t go to school. If they don’t receive an education, they don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.
  • – via www.toms.com

I’d like to encourage you to join us tomorrow in TOMS’ annual event – One Day Without Shoes – to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life.

Join us by taking off your shoes for the day or wearing a pair of TOMS instead. You can choose to participate for the whole day, or just for part of the day. However you choose to participate, you’ll be helping to raise awareness about children in the developing world who grow up barefoot.

You can also view the One Day Without Shoes video on YouTube.

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    David is responsible for developing and supervising all aspects of Compassion’s operations and managing our Global Executive Leadership Committee. He is our executive vice president.

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  1. Apr 4, 2011
    at 9:36 pm

    I just did something like this last week with my daughters. We are collecting shoes for Isabel Jones and Shoes for Kids (www.shoesforme.org). Many of the shoes she collects end up going to Compassion kids as both of her parents work for and travel with Compassion.

    I introduced and explained the idea here – http://compassionfamily.blogspot.com/2011/03/do-something-together.html

    and we reported our experience here – http://compassionfamily.blogspot.com/2011/04/our-walk.html

    It’s great to hear about Compassion’s partnership with TOMS shoes.

  2. Danielle
    Apr 4, 2011
    at 10:18 pm

    Gonna teach my classes at Azusa Pacific University tomorrow in bare feet! Can’t wait to have some good discussions with my students about this very important topic! To God Be the Glory!

  3. Apr 5, 2011
    at 5:42 pm

    My 5yo and I were #withoutShoes all day today. We didn’t go anywhere and my daughter was bummed b/c she wanted to tell someone why she was doing it!

  4. angel g
    Apr 5, 2011
    at 7:34 pm

    i wish we could have the same program for our local compassion center here in the philippines. my heart goes out to all of you! GOd bless!

  5. Apr 19, 2011
    at 3:02 pm

    Staff from our offices in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso participated in this event too. Here are some of their comments about the experience:

    Herbert Turyantunga (Uganda Country Director) – Overall, there was an overwhelming response to the call to remove shoes, but an even greater sense of the need for commitment to practical giving and a number of staff were moved to either buy shoes for children, give away their extra shoes, or both. The advocacy discussion generated was so successful that our lawyer, who visited us that day, promised to take off his shoes at his office as part of spreading the message to his clients, and offered to donate all shoes except one pair to those in need.

    Andrew (Uganda) – I am desperate to storm a supermarket barefoot after work. I want someone to come up to me and ask me why I am like this so I can tell them about this cause. I am so excited!

    Robinah (Uganda) – I feel funny. My feet suddenly look too small. I feel awkward and out of place.

    Joan (Uganda) – It was fun not wearing shoes but I asked myself, “after this, what next?” We often sympathise with children and the needy and don’t do anything beyond things like today’s not wearing shoes. So I have put on my shoes and I am going out to buy two pairs of shoes for children and give away all the shoes I haven’t worn in a long time.

    Viola (Uganda) – How hard can it be to go without shoes for a day? Piece of cake, right? Well, how about all your life, while others have a pair to call their own? Can you imagine the shame, the low self esteem, the teasing, and to crown it all off the embarrassment of having your picture taken bare footed? This is but a pinch of what children out there are going through. How did I feel you ask, this is how I truly felt: uncomfortable every time someone looked at my feet, out of place whenever someone in shoes talked to me, dirty whenever I had to go to the bathroom, embarrassed when I walked down to the reception past the visitors, sad and unworthy when I lined up for food, and pain when I stubbed my foot on a stone. And you know what the worst part is, that I look at my filthy feet and cannot place them in the heels I walked into work with today. They are so unworthy. Can you imagine a child feeling so unworthy to place their feet in shoes because they have not worn shoes for so long? How many other things do we take for granted? Count your blessings as you wash your feet today because you only had to endure the shame today.

    Tsehaywota Taddesse (Ethiopia Country Director) – We had a great day walking barefoot. We came together and thought about children walking barefoot. Our Health team highlighted health problems because of walking barefoot. That helped us do prayer with appropriate information. Moreover, we have agreed to collect shoes and clothes to give to those who are in desperate need. We have churches persecuted severely in the south western part of the country and our gift will be sent to them. It was such a practical time.

    Joel Macharia (Kenya Country Director) – We in KE thought it’s not new to walk barefoot for a day or hours. Instead, we made a shoes’ offering from our homes. We will distribute the shoes to needy areas in different parts of the country.

    Palamanga Ouali (Burkina Faso Country Director) – There is a sect in Benin and other countries that has a weird rule: all members are barefooted (Le Christianisme celeste). So, in order to avoid confusing our folks here, we contextualized the “one day without shoes” event, slippers will do!

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