One person in two lives in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV has devastated this region, and in the wake of this epidemic there are millions of orphans struggling to exist on their own. In the sub-Saharan region that SFJ is serving, it is estimated that over 20 million orphaned children are without shoes. The number of orphans in Africa that need shoes is astounding. Uganda and Kenya are home to 2.3 million orphans each, Tanzania to 2.4 million, Angola and Zambia 1.2 million each, the Comoros 33,000, Malawi 950,000, Namibia 140,000, Botswana 150,000, Zimbabwe 1.4 million, Mozambique 1.5 million, Madagascar 900,000, Lesotho 150,000, and Swaziland and South Africa 2.5 million each.
Barefoot children who are homeless or living in extreme poverty risk injury while searching for food or household items in garbage dumps and abandoned buildings, or while walking through open sewers and contaminated paths. Shoes lower the risk of injury, but it is simply not affordable when a person is struggling to eat. When we send donated shoes to Africa, we know it is a gift that will last for years, enabling individuals to be one step ahead on the path to better quality of life