Leaving School Barefoot

Last Friday was the last day of school for many children in the UK. Woodlea School here in Woldingham asked its pupils to leave school barefoot and donate their shoes to EHF! They have already donated many school uniforms and PE kits to us and you can see these in most of the photos of the children.

The school said:
“A whole school leaving barefoot is a powerful message that we want to help those fellow school children who have no choice and leave school barefoot every day.”

The response was amazing and we collected 212 pairs of shoes on the day. Thank you Woodlea parents, pupils and staff! We will post an update once the shoes have arrived in Igoji.

The Stories of Wessy and Ian

We asked some of the children at the Eusebia Hope Centre to share their stories with you.

The Story of Wessy


“My name is Wessy Ntinyary. I am seven years old. I am in class one.  I don’t know the story of my parents. I stay with my grandmum. She could not send me to school or feed me. I could stay for two days without eating, taking water only. My hair turned brown and I suffered from anaemia, that is why I usually shave my hair. I was lucky I got sponsored. I am recovering since I can get food every day. I am very happy. May God bless you.”

Watch Wessy… …tell her story


The Story of Ian

“My name is Ian Muthumi. I am six years old. I am in nursery class. I was left by my father at the age of four years. My mother could not take care of me. I was attacked by jiggers and I walked barefoot. God heard my mum’s prayers and I was sponsored. I am very happy I can go to school, get food, clothes, books, medical care and a good place to sleep since we were given mattresses. Jiggers are now over and I can wear shoes. I am grateful. May God bless you.”

Jiggers are a kind of parasitic flea common in Kenya. They burrow deep into skin and lay eggs, causing painful wounds. Their presence is a sign of serious neglect. Most of the children at the Centre arrived with jiggers and all were successfully treated. After the parasites were removed by the nurse, the children were left with open wounds. They could only start wearing shoes once these have healed. That is why it is so special to see all the children wearing shoes!