US footwear retailer Toms Shoes is asking you to go One Day Without Shoes
on April 5 to raise awareness for the millions of children who are forced to go barefoot.
In many developing countries, children are forced to walk barefoot for kilometres to travel to school, for clean water or to seek medical help, putting them at risk of injury, infection and soil-transmitted diseases.
Barefoot kids are vulnerable to nasty soil-based parasites and diseases like hookworm, podoconiosis, jiggers and tetanus, which can cause anaemia, stunted physical and mental development, swelling, itching, muscle spasms, lockjaw, congestive heart failure and even death.
Going without shoes also affects children's education if they miss school through illness. Also many schools require children to wear shoes. Owning shoes leads to better attendance at school, and healthy, educated children are better able to help their families and communities.
Toms is asking that everyone go barefoot for one day, a few hours, or even just a few minutes in order to raise awareness for these disadvantaged children.
In a campaign it calls One for One, Toms is also donating one pair of shoes to a child for every pair purchased.
One Day Without Shoes is a day we can raise awareness about the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child's life by taking off our own.
For more information, visit www.onedaywithoutshoes.com