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Put Foot Foundation's barefoot day

The Put Foot Foundation announced that Tuesday 18 June will be the first official National Barefoot Day. In commemoration of Youth Month, all South Africans are asked to go barefoot to highlight the plight of underprivileged children in South Africa.

The Put Foot Foundation has become synonymous with giving children hope, pride and dignity through the gift of a brand new pair of school shoes. Through this simple act children in need are able to play, learn and have fun. The National Barefoot Day has been created to highlight the impact of not having the basics, in this case a pair of school shoes. Walking to school in the height of winter is traumatic, and the embarrassment of not having shoes overshadows the necessity to learn. The day will fall within June each year and will be acknowledged on the first working day following Youth Day.

2013 will see the National Barefoot Day falling on Tuesday 18 June. Daryn Hillhouse, the foundation's chairman, has challenged all South African’s to go barefoot on this day for an hour or a few minutes, to experience what millions of young children in our country have to deal with every day, to fully understand the extent of the problem and to show their support for South Africa’s children.

“We want to create a movement, and more importantly we want to help put brand new pairs of 100% leather locally produced school shoes on the feet of every needy child in South Africa,” pledged Hillhouse.

South Africans participating in National Barefoot Day can sign up or pledge their support on www.nationalbarefootday.com, and share their story of support via the official Facebook page. On the day, supporters can also tweet images along with messages of solidarity, with the hashtags #BarefootSA or #ShoesOnFeet.

Hillhouse went on to add that the Put Foot Foundation, a registered NGO, has raised more than R1.5 million since inception in June 2012. “We have helped over 5000 children and touched the lives of hundreds of teachers, parents and ordinary South Africans. The National Barefoot Day is the next chapter in the Foundations success, and we need all South African’s to get involved, including corporates or individuals – we can all make a difference.”

Supporters of the National Barefoot Day, who have registered on the official website, can donate to the Put Foot Foundation or volunteer their time for one of the national shoe drops taking place at schools across South Africa.

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