Thursday May 24

Shoes & Socks 4 Kids Program

The Shoes & Socks 4 Kids program provides high quality leather BATA shoes and 3 pairs of Underworks socks free of charge to Australian kids living in poverty.

Disadvantaged children turning up at school with no shoes, worn out or inappropriate footwear is an ongoing problem for schools throughout Australia and can result in the child for health and safety reasons being excluded from school activities and sports - or worse, even sent home.

Different solutions have been tried in the past with little success. In extreme cases, some schools actually have tried buying shoes and lending them to disadvantaged kids for the duration of the school day only. These solutions have been less than successful. Disadvantaged children often feel too humiliated to go to the school office and borrow second hand shoes that have been worn by other children.  They can often be the subject of cruel teasing and taunts by other children for wearing “school borrowed shoes”, no shoes at all, or worn out shoes that are held together with staples or tape.

The Shoes & Socks 4 Kids program also works to address another serious issue in schools – poverty related absenteeism. When the weather is cold or wet, it is difficult for children to concentrate and learn in class when – because they have no shoes or inadequate shoes - their feet are cold and they feel miserable. It is often easier to simply stay home. Another consequence of children turning up at school wet and cold is a higher incidence of illness resulting in yet more absenteeism and lost learning time.