A large number of staff members of Manica Group Namibia donated more than 100 pairs of shoes of all types, sizes and colours in support of the international Toms Shoes project. The staff members also showed up bare-foot for work earlier this week (Tuesday, 5 April 2011), as part of the international drive to curb and create awareness of soil-transmitted diseases. Manica Group Namibia is proud to play a part in all efforts that help to uplift the lives and living conditions of the community. The shoes were donated to the Walvis Bay Community Church who will coordinate the distribution process.
The Toms Shoes project was founded in 2006 by an entrepreneur from Texas, Blake Mycoskie, after a visit to Argentina in 2006. In his speech at the Second Annual Clinton Global Initiative, Mycoskie recalled that children without shoes were not only susceptible to health risks, but were not allowed to go to school. When asked “why shoes?” Mycoskie’s main reason is a disease called podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease that affects the lymphatic system of the lower legs. It is a soil-transmitted disease caused by walking in silica-rich soil. Shoes are the most basic solution to many of these health risks. More than one billion people are at risk for soil-transmitted diseases around the world, and shoes can help prevent them. More than 1,000,000 pairs of shoes have been given to those in need under the Toms-project since it was launched.