Millions of people around the world do not have access to shoes. On April 10, students can help raise awareness and spark a plan of action to help these people by participating in the worldwide event, One Day Without Shoes.
One Day Without Shoes is hosted by TOMS, a company that espouses the vision “One for One,” meaning that for every pair of shoes purchased from TOMS, a pair will be donated to a child in need.
TOMS is challenging people all around the world to go barefoot for the entire day on April 10. The idea behind the event is that it will make people more aware of what it is like to live on a daily basis without the comfort of shoes. Even further, walking around without shoes will spark “curiosity, conversation, action, change,” according to onedaywithoutshoes.com.
Last year, around 1,500 events, spanning across 25 different counties around the world, took place during One Day Without Shoes.
Seniors Nate Morris and Nikki Odderstol, who have a WCNU radio show called “Nate & Nikki En La Noche,” are partnering with STAND to make One Day Without Shoes happen at CNU.
“STAND’s whole goal is to raise awareness for human rights violations all over the globe,” junior Ally Collender, STAND president, said. “Even though people not having access to shoes in the world isn’t directly a human rights violation, it’s still a cause that STAND supports, because people should have access to basic things such as shoes, clothing and shelter.”
There are many problems that people, particularly children, face around the world when they do not have access to shoes. The One Day Without Shoes website says that some of these problems include injury due to broken glass, syringes or debris. Disease and illness is also a problem, as many diseases live in the soil. In Kenya, jiggers—“burrowing fleas that cause painful infection”—affect 1,890,000 children. The website also explains that children who do not have access to shoes risk not being able to obtain an education, as in many schools shoes are a requirement to attend.
“I didn’t even realize how dangerous it is for people not having shoes,” Collender said. “I thought it was just an inconvenience, but it’s actually a life-threatening danger.”
While not wearing shoes for a day may not directly impact those who do not have access to shoes across the globe, participating in the event is a good first step to raising awareness about the problem.
“It’s fun, and it’s a really easy way to raise awareness about people living in poverty around the world who don’t have access to something as simple as shoes,” Morris said. “I think you can forget how in need a lot of people are. We are kind of caught in our own little bubble, so I think it’s good to branch out of that, if just for a day, and then maybe just being aware of it will make people want to get involved.”
There will be a photo contest held on April 10, in which participants can send in a photo of themselves not wearing shoes to be put into a raffle. The winner that is pulled will receive a free pair of TOMS shoes. Students can visit onedaywithoutshoes.com for more information about the event.