Barefoot Free November

All this time later and still I have to look down at my feet as I stumble down & over the train tracks of Lakhtokia, struggling to hold my balance while avoiding glass shards, waste, nails, rusting metal and other discarded materials that line the homes of these children. I see my own clumsy feet, protected by sandals, but always my eyes drift to the feet of the kids holding my hands as we meander along. They are graceful and coordinated in comparison to me. After all, this what they have known their entire lives. Ever since learning to walk they've been left on their own to navigate the waste in their tiny bare feet. Often, as looks would have it, they probably learned what to avoid the hard way. Their feet, oh their feet. Very rarely do they have even sandals to protect themselves. Their feet are worn and rugged, tired at too young an age. Scarred with injuries old and new. Never do we hear them cry out in pain as they traverse the landscape but often we are shown new cuts and sores that need cleaning. It begs the question, shouldn't every child be able to walk without worry of injuring their feet? This pounds repeatedly in my head. The reality is that an injured foot prevents these kids from doing their work. It equals loss of wages, loss of meals and other basic necessities. The reality is that an injured foot is an opportunity for infection in an environment made of waste. The reality is that walking without sandals is one of the most obvious indicators of their socioeconomic status, opening them up for mistreatment and isolation. One pair of sandals equals love, opportunity and protection. One pair of sandals to each child, 43 pairs of feet measured already, one big goal. November is officially the month that Lakhtokia will go barefoot free.

1 comment:

  1. Such a sweet and simple idea (like all the best ones). I wish you the best of luck in this new project x