There has been strife in Burundi. Tribal tensions, genocide, and civil war have plagued the small country for decades. Death and drought has taken a toll on the people of the land, and right now, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Burundi has been striving for political and economic change since restructuring the constitution and political offices in 2005; however, with 93.5% of the population living below the global poverty line, it’s clear that socioeconomic progress is coming slowly.
Madie loves reading and writing at school, wouldn’t mind having a hippo as a pet, and often plays on the computer in her spare time. She’ll be nine years old soon and wants to do something a little different for her birthday this year. Instead of receiving presents for herself, Madie wants to give her gifts away. She’s throwing a birthday party where her friends and family can donate shoes for Africa.
Growing up in Kampala, Uganda can be a world away from a normal American childhood experience. Steeped in poverty and without guidance, thousands of children spend their days begging for food or money on the streets, and their nights in dilapidated shelters. Many children fend for themselves, unwillingly forced into a cycle of poverty that accompanies a lack of schooling and life-skill training. But, in the midst of this circumstance, there are beautiful rays of hope in the city!
After the singing ceased, Albert stood up and spoke about how receiving a pair of shoes from Soles For Jesus changed his life. “When that container came here,” he said, “it was like we were dreaming! It was such a very wonderful present from God”.