Sole Searching: Barefoot Children in Africa Desperate for Shoes

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 13, 2020  — An estimated 20 million children in sub Saharan Africa are walking without shoes causing them to endure temperatures up to 100-degrees. A simple walk to school, home, or to work can become grueling without the protection of shoes. Unfortunately, this is the reality for children as well as adults, in parts of Africa who battle this daily.

The threat of being barefoot lies in the exposure to sharp objects, harmful bacteria or infections in the soil, and contaminated stagnant water and most days burning heat on the ground they walk on. Intestinal worms such as hookworms can make their way into the skin more easily. Without immediate and proper treatment, these infections can lead to chronic illness, amputations and death.

This is more likely to happen in Arica due to poor sanitation and high poverty levels. Despite being overlooked, shoes play a vital role in everyday life. For many in Africa the frightening reality lies in the decision between buying food or buying shoes.

Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) recognizes this need and distributes shoes to those in need. Gently used and new shoes are collected and sorted at our in-kind collection centers and then shipped out to the country of need. Our teams in Africa identify beneficiaries in need prior to distribution. Thus, individuals can avoid injuries and not worry about a basic necessity like shoes.

To donate towards shoes for those in need, please visit our website for more information on the In-kind Gifts Program or to find your local in-kind collection center

Ranked among the top 5% of 9,000 NGOs, HHRD has received a four-star Charity Navigator rating over the past seven years. HHRD is a member of Inter-Action and an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. With an overall score of 98.23 out of 100 HHRD has earned the trust of US donors.

HHRD is a global humanitarian organization responding to human sufferings in emergency and disastrous situations all over the world regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, class, and religion. We also have partners ranging from small community support groups to national alliances along with our international networks. To donate please visit or call 1-888-808-4357(HELP). HHRD is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization. Tax ID# 31-1628040