I am sure you know that it's awfully hard to learn when you don't feel well. Kids in developing countries often carry illnesses in their bodies that don't make them outwardly sick, but can zap a kid's energy and upset their momentum. Many of these illnesses come from parasites in the soil, which are especially challenging to prevent because the kids don't have shoes. The illnesses can be treated by medicines - when available - but bare feet are easily re-infected. Part of our effort to keep our kids healthy is to provide the medicine when we can, and to cover kids' feet with shoes.
Each year our Fund holds a shoe drive for sturdy, quick-drying, children's shoes for our kids. Last year we were able to bring more than a hundred pairs of shoes to our kids and this year we aim to send more. We have just initiated our shoe drive for this year.
An important part of our effort with the kids on Idjwi Island is help them to learn by providing a secure environment, which was the construction of the new school building. The other piece is to keep them learning, and to achieve that goal, we must keep them as healthy as we can.
There is a saying in Swahili that goes "HABA NA HABA HUJAZA KIBABA"which translated literally means: little by little fills up the measure, but its' real meaning is that a great journey is begun by a single mile.
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