Nearly 3,000 barefoot KZN children get shoes in time for winter
Nearly 3,000 poverty-stricken children in KwaZulu-Natal - some of whom have never owned a pair of school shoes - can now walk with a spring in their step as winter approaches.
Thanks to Soul2Soul2019, a corporate and community initiative, 2,881 pairs of new and slightly worn school shoes, socks and tins of shoe polish were recently distributed to children in the Midlands and the greater Durban area.
Children in SA are among 7-million pupils in Africa who go to school either barefoot or without proper footwear, risking injury and infection.
Pupils from 14 schools in the province including Michaelhouse, Maritzburg College, Orient Islamic School, Durban Girls' College and Chelsea Prep, donated their shoes during the almost year-long drive.
Apart from the slightly worn pairs, The Lion Match Company bought 932 pairs of new shoes for distribution to schools in need.
"Soul2Soul is a great help to the school and the community," said Nomasonto Mntungwa, principal of Sanele Primary School in Ndwedwe.
The school received 295 pairs of shoes.
"Most of our pupils are vulnerable and dependent on their grandparents' grants. Shoes will protect the children from cold winter days. As the road to school is gravel that makes it difficult to walk fast, the shoes will be of a great help," she said.