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Taking Steps To Alleviate Poverty: Shoes That Grow!

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posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 03:17 PM
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Over 300 million kids world wide that don't own a pair of shoes, are prone and do get to infections and soil transmitting parasitic diseases as a result.


In 2007, Kenton Lee was walking through Nairobi, Kenya (Africa) when he noticed that not only were children cutting the toes off their shoes to make them fit, the majority of them did not have any shoes at all. There to work with 140 orphaned children affected by AIDs/HIV, he felt desperately that some sort of solution was needed for both of these concerns.

When Kenton talked to the orphanage director, he was advised that they did not receive shoe donations from the U.S. Clearly, such a solution would not be sustainable either, as the shoes for the growing children’s feet would only fit six months before they became too small.

Frustrated by the issue presented, Lee began to think, “Why are we donating things that don’t make sense for these kids? Why are we still doing the same old thing if it doesn’t work as well as it needs to? Can’t we do this a better way?”

These questions prompted Lee to found an organization called Because International. The team’s intent is to work together with those who are living in extreme poverty, listen to what they say, and then help to turn their dreams into a reality.


LINK


The above is something that really made me smile. Thanks to people like Kenton







posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: Telos

I can't wait for the first House That Grows.

******




posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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They look pretty stylish too...kind of like Dansko clogs.

Interesting idea. These will only work if they're tough enough to last long enough to "grow" with the child.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 03:32 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
These will only work if they're tough enough to last long enough to "grow" with the child.


My thought exactly. I had to change my shoes more times because of usage than because of feet growth.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 03:32 PM
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What a great idea! I sometimes am gobsmacked when a good idea or design comes out and I ask myself why didn't I or someone else think of this sooner. A shoe that grows sounds like just what is needed. I was always sensitive to clothes that stretched or fit over a long time even though in the Northern Hemisphere snowsuits and boots are still facing the same kind of design problem. If I had money this is a project I'd get behind. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: Telos

in my work life, i call this "hunting differently".

If you are in a well hunted area, you might have trouble finding any game. But the hunter who is innovative, thinks outside the box, solves problems, and hunts differently that all the other hunters might have a chance.

You may hit a few dead ends along the way....but a different perspective is how major innovation can happen.

Great story.



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: Telos

Great idea, wonderbare shoes ! If they make them of polyurethane
they will last a long time, you can always glue some more tread to the sole.
Long may they run...



posted on Apr, 18 2015 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: Telos

Glad to see people coming up with these ideas. I wonder if the holes would stretch and the nubs not hold with use. I think a sole and a canvas wrap design or something not relying on all of those nubs and holes.



posted on Apr, 19 2015 @ 05:59 AM
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a reply to: Telos This is a BEAUTIFUL idea! I love it!! Thank you for bringing this to our attention OP, I will definitely be donating to this! ^_^



posted on Apr, 19 2015 @ 11:13 AM
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saw something these earlier today, although i don't think it was the same company since the design looks slightly different. my first question is what will they cost? just due to materials i suspect they will be more expensive than the footwear worn by many poor people around the world, the "flip-flop". and even with the cheap price of a flip-flop, many wear repaired, jury rigged, mismatched, and for kids over-sized ones. so in essence these would likely be unaffordable for those that need them. this means they will be yet again beholden to outside groups to supply them to them.

now they do have an interesting concept for expanding the sole length, and even width. although i am suspecting that the way it is designed might create a weak point for tearing. the way it appears to fasten could be another weak point in the design (although i think one that a minor design change could help alleviate that one). i also don't see a way of adjusting the fit of the heel. but it is an interesting concept all the same.

but i think the biggest concern i have is how well this or any other "shoe" for that matter can be expected to last for years. materials to construct it is a big question for durability. soles get scuffed and worn down (as would the "expandable" toe area on these), through normal wear and tear. i have never yet found a shoe where the sole didn't badly wear within a year if they are my primary footwear, especially when i was a kid. even with good quality work boots that i just wore at work i was lucky if they would last a year. with not just the sole getting badly worn out (from a smooth floor even, not out in possibly rocky terrain or coral type environments), but the leather would crack and tear badly in that time as well (i even tried treatments and polishes etc to no avail). most footwear suffer major issues in most of the places that are where you find most of the poor in the world. glues and stitching deteriorate or rot from environmental factors like heat, humidity and water. almost any cloth like material (including nylon, especially on shoes) or leather rots from humidity and moisture (nothing like your shoes wallet and belt starting to mold and rot just from the high humidity). plastics, nylons and rubbers break down from the heat, and crack, break and tear. as such i don't think these shoes are really going to change the need to be replaced every year or two. in fact the only footwear that seems to be able to survive (and easily repaired using scrap), for long periods of time are flip flops. one of the major reasons other than price poor people in warmer climates seem to always wear them.

i say this as someone who is one of those that gives things like shoes to poor people. and you can't imagine the joy on a child's face when you give them footwear and clothing. chances are what you give them will become their good clothing, worn on special occasions and church, and possibly school (depending on uniform codes). and yes t-shirts with the playboy bunny are often seen being worn at church lol. for example one person my parents worked with was having a building built. he freaked out when he saw the construction crew all wearing flip flops as they were working. so he took them out and got them all "proper" work boots to wear. well they continued to wear their flip flops working, he argued with them in vain to wear the boots. but nope they would not wear them to work despite his protests. yet on Sunday every one of them were wearing their new construction boots for church. those being the best and nicest footwear they owned. almost amusingly the same would likely happen with these shoes (unless you gave everyone at least two pairs). they would wear them to church, school and special events. and go back to their other or no footwear the rest of the time. that's just the way poor people are. they have something nice, they try to keep it nice. pictures are covered in saran wrap, stuffed toys live in plastic bags, both to try to keep them clean from all the soot in the air from using coal and wood for cooking, as well as to protect them from moisture.

a much better idea, instead of investing so much in a special shoe that likely won't last anyway. that we dust off old ideas and methods to teach them how to make their own footwear from materials that are easily available to them. the Viet Cong (and others) for example used to cut up old tires and use the tread for soles of sandals they made. seriously this is what i would like to see organizations that help the poor people in poor nations do. don't just continually give them stuff, but teach them how to do make what they need for themselves.

this is the direction we would like to take in our tiny organization. teach them and help them become self sufficient. don't just give out clothes, but train people how to make clothes, maybe even get then a couple treadle power sewing machines (yes they still manufacture old style singer sewing machines), they are cheap to us i think i paid under $50 US for a brand new singer treadle machine a few years back, but to them it is expensive. in the country (lack of fields in a city to grow stuff), teach them to grow food, or grow food better, just don't give them food. if you are digging a well for water, don't just drill a hole as we do in modern times and put an electric pump on it,build and teach them to build a hand pump that they can fix or replace as needed with little skill or tools, or even dig an old style bucket well. dust off old simple technology that they can use easily. i recently helped build a simple house for someone who lost theirs in the big earthquake that was immediately followed by typhoon Yolonda (yes there are still a lot of people without homes after that double disaster). ONLY ONE power tool was used, that being a chainsaw that the woodcutters used to make all the boards and lumber out of trees with (three guys wearing flip flops on a motorcycle carrying a big chainsaw, gas and oil, it was amazing to watch them do it). everything else was hammer and nails, shovels, and buckets. they even made their own ladders to do the work. it was built the way they knew how to do. it was done in about a week. meanwhile sitting next to where we were working was a pile of materials from Homes For The Homeless. it has been sitting there for about a YEAR AND A HALF waiting to be built (i rather suspect that the cement is useless now). the foundation and sump pit have been dug for just about as long waiting. the thing is, even though it is a simple design compared to a North American home. it requires tools and skills the people don't have to build it. it's not that homes for the homeless or the people are being lazy. there are just so many that need to be built that it is taking so long. yet if the provided materials only needed the tools and skills people have, many more people would currently have homes and not be still living in tents, leantoos, other makeshift living quarters and homes that are structurally unsound (and remember an earthquake or typhoon could always hit at any time).

give a man a fish, and he has a meal
teach a man to fish and he will have meals for life



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