It’s not every day that you run into an invention so genius it makes you say, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” Well meet the shoe that’s set to help millions of barefoot children worldwide by growing with them.
Shoes are hard to come by for too many children living in developing countries.
When most people think of children in poverty, hunger is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But for many children in the developing world, even the most basic clothing items can be hard to come by. While working in Nairobi, Kenya, inventor Kenton Lee was struck by how many young children were barefoot, their feet covered in scrapes and sores. But sores aren’t the only consequences of going barefoot.
And while some kids go without shoes, others wear shoes that are too small.
Lee saw them wearing makeshift foot coverings from scraps of cardboard. But what struck him was how many kids had repurposed old shoes that were too small by cutting them open to fit as their feet grew.
And while these repurposed shoes are no doubt creative, they’re only marginally better than going barefoot. But seeing how these shoes had been transformed to fit growing feet highlighted yet another obvious but unavoidable problem. When kids grow out of their donated shoes, they’re just going to need another pair. This is when the lightbulb went off for Lee. What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand for growing feet? Enter “The Shoe That Grows.”
Lee invented a shoe that can be adjusted up to five times and lasts for five years.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2011, Lee and his team at Because International were able to produce 2,000 shoes and provide them free of cost to kids in need in Nairobi. In April 2015, Because International started another campaign to raise funds for the next round of production, in hopes of getting 5,000 more shoes out to kids around the world. Take a look at the video below to learn more about this amazing company’s journey and how you can help.
Credits: Upworthy | Original video by Red Rain.