Sal's Shoes finds new feet for pre-loved children's shoes and was founded in November 2013.
Feet in shoes are protected feet. Feet protected from injury and infection and in areas of low sanitation, the spread of infection. In many countries whilst the education system is free, children are not permitted to go to school if they do not own a pair of shoes. School shoes are a part of mandatory school uniform, which due to extreme poverty many families cannot afford. Without the access to an education and the opportunities it affords, the cycle of poverty keeps repeating itself.Just over 4 years on, Sal's Shoes have now collected over 500,000 pairs of pre-loved children's shoes and found them new feet in 35 countries around the world including in the UK. Sal's Shoes are now walking again in rural and urban areas, in orphanages and hospitals, in refugee camps and schools. Pre-played in football boots are back on the pitch on the feet of children who may otherwise only ever dream of owning a pair. Sal's Shoes are distributed in the UK to vulnerable mum's; refugee mums, asylum seeking mums and mothers fleeing domestic violence at home suddenly and with little more than their children in the way of possessions. Larger sizes are distributed to the homeless at shelters and feeding stations. We have also held collections and distributions in Bali, Cyprus, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.
Sal's Shoes Toe to Toe was launched in 2016 as a pilot scheme with one school which saw pupils donate those shoes they'd likely outgrow over the long summer holidays on the last day of the summer term. In that first year, 315 pairs of shoes were donated and were back at school in September of that year at three primary schools in a very rural, remote area of Ghana, West Africa.
As a result of harnessing social media for good and publishing a post on the Sal's Shoes Facebook page about the pilot, which went on to be shared over 70,000 times, in 2017 over 500 schools in the UK alongside schools in Dubai, France, Gibraltar, Mexico, Nigeria and Spain collected over 175,000 pairs of Sal's Shoes as a direct result of Toe to Toe 2017. Shoes collected from this initiative have so far found their new feet amongst children in Ghana, Greece, India Lebanon, Malawi, South Africa, Syria, within the UK, the Ukraine, Zambia, and in Nicaragua where over 11,000 pairs of school shoes are currently being distributed.