I read this article click here to read about Tom’s Shoes a couple of weeks ago and it sat heavily with me for a little while.
I read it and re-read it, wondering why there are some people in the world who are so against organisations who are trying to do something good in their own special way.
But then through some gorgeous comments on Facebook our Moeloco community reminded that I am supported and every human is not always on the same path. And that’s fine.
I am on my path with my Moeloco tribe and we feel compassion for others. That is why we do what we do.
So I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer a question I often get asked. Why shoes? Why does Moeloco give shoes to orphans and street children in Kolkata?
This is why.
1. Shoes can change a child’s life
Picture this. A child walking through a garbage dump in bare feet to get to school. If you are a parent would you allow that to happen? Do you let your children go to school or the shops or anywhere really without shoes? Many children in India do not have shoes. This causes serious health problems and risks. By giving children shoes we are minimising those health risks and encouraging them to get themselves to school.
Read this page the Hope Foundation has set up asking people to donate shoes (which is one of the first pages I read before I set up Moeloco to help them for this very reason) and tell me that shoes don’t make a difference to a child’s life.
By giving children shoes, we are minimizing those health risks and encouraging them to get themselves to school. Many schools don’t allow children to attend if they don’t wear shoes. Education is the only way out of poverty.
2. Raising awareness of child trafficking and poverty
Recently The Guardian reported on the frightening statistics around child trafficking in India. You can read the article here. The Hope Foundation provide respite and rescue for children who end up in Kolkata, sold for sex, sold for organ harvesting and sold for work. And yes, that is hard to hear. It’s hard to type. This stuff happens. And if you didn’t follow Moeloco and me and the work we do with the Hope Foundation, you would not know that.
You probably would not even know of the Hope Foundation and the incredible work this organisation does. So yes, we do sell flip flops to Westerners with disposable income, but now they know the dollars they are spending are helping an incredible organisation save the lives and futures of children. And who knows, they may end up donating more or helping to increase awareness themselves of these issues that they had previously been completely unaware of.
I’m also using shoes as a simple, easily and relatable way to raise the awareness of poverty which is an overwhelming issue. If we told people immediately of the big issues such as child trafficking they would shut down. It’s too much and too hard to handle. So shoes are like the baby steps we take to raise awareness.
3. Freeing up extra money for other programs
If we at Moeloco can help the Hope Foundation provide shoes for the orphans and street children of Kolkata, that is less money the Hope Foundation need to spend themselves on shoes. That means their funds can be redirected into their other multitude of programs. That is money that is freed up for medical costs, health programs, vocational training, food, the running of the Hope houses….the list goes on.
4. Supporting the community
When we buy the shoes for the kids, we buy them from a local Indian manufacturer. I would love to get our shoes made in India to bring more money into the country but they don’t make rubber thongs there. Currently we have given some work to the Hope Foundation’s fashion training program. It’s a surprise we will be updating you on later in the year about so always remember there is behind the scenes stuff going on too.
I feel so passionate about Moeloco and the work of the Hope Foundation. I am here to make a difference. Moeloco is here to help. And you are here because you believe in goodness and kindness.
And THAT is what keeps me going.
HEY! Before you go, have a look at this! I am so proud to see my good friend Kaya launching his first documentary Future Dreaming, a film shot in Antarctica. The launch will be held at the Ritz Cinema in Randwick on August 29 from 7 – 9pm.
It is a remarkable story about the future of humanity, told by an extraordinary person, Dr David E Martin. This is a must see film with Antarctica as a stunning backdrop.
Click here for more information on the event. Hope some of you will join us and share the love.