When we last visited Arise School towards the end of September 2014, one of the things highlighted to us was the number of children who come to school in flip flops or very old trainers. Many of the families in this poor community are unable to afford proper shoes for their children. This is a huge problem when the rains come and the unsurfaced roads turn to rivers of mud. The children’s footwear becomes totally inadequate. Can you imagine what it must be like wading to school through mud!
In this part of Tanzania, the long rainy season generally starts towards the end of March through April and into May. Sometimes, however, the rains may start in February – or they may fail altogether. The rainfall can be torrential but is welcomed by the local community. The dry, dusty landscape is instantly transformed into a sea of green shoots as the crops begin to grow. The circle of life continues
Back home, we picked up the children’s lack of proper footwear as part of our school fundraising. In particular, two local schools immediately rose to the challenge of raising money for the shoe appeal. Queens Park Primary School, St. Helens held a disco and a “wear your own clothes” day. St. Ann’s Church of England Primary School, Rainhill, donated part of their harvest collection towards shoes.
As a result, last week, Arise School took delivery of an order of shoes purchased locally. Staff helped the children to find shoes that fitted them. The smiles on their faces speak for themselves! In particular, many of the sponsored children from the poorest families benefitted. For some children, these were the first proper pair of shoes they have had.
A huge “thank you” to all the children in Queens Park and St. Ann’s for their brilliant fundraising efforts. Your gift of shoes has made such a difference to the pupils at Arise School. They are now “Ready for the Rainy Season!” when it arrives.
We are delighted that the children now have shoes but cannot afford to be complacent. Children’s feet grow and shoes wear out. Please help us to continue to provide shoes by donating towards our shoe appeal:
A one-off donation of £25 will buy shoes for three children
A standing order of £4 per month (just £1 per week!) will buy shoes for 6 children each year
A standing order of £8 per month will buy shoes for 12 children each year