My Life is Better Now that I Have Shoes

11/12/13

The ground is not just made of earth here in the impoverished Dominican community of Los Robles. Trash, animal waste, rocks, and broken glass are all mixed together to form a dry, hard substance that children walk over every day. 

 
When I was in Los Robles on a Venture Trip, we were required to wear closed-toe shoes. I broke the rules one day and later saw why. My feet were dry, cracked, and filthy by the end of the day. I had managed to avoid glass and other sharp objects, but then again I did have sandals on. 
 
Imagine then what it was like to walk beside children with no shoes at all. 
 
In the Dominican Republic, families often cannot afford shoes for their children
In the communities COTN serves in the Dominican Republic, families often cannot afford shoes for their children, so the children go barefoot.
 
Eleven-year-old Antoni of Los Robles remembers what it was like to have no shoes. "I used to walk the whole community barefoot," he says. Before he had shoes, Antoni was ashamed and embarrassed to walk into school with dirty bare feet. "I often missed classes because I didn't have a pair of shoes," he says.
 
When Antoni's family was finally able to get shoes for him, they could only afford cheap sandals. These didn't last long, but they were all he had. Antoni used to walk to school and back with the whole back half of one of his sandals missing. "My broken sandal was not comfortable because my feet were dirty," Antoni explains.
 
A pair of shoes may seem like a small gift, but they have made all the difference for Antoni. As he proudly holds up his new, sturdy shoes, he says, "My life is better than before, now that I have shoes." 
 
"My life is better than before, now that I have shoes," Antoni says.
Antoni used to walk around his community barefoot or in broken sandals before people like you provided him with shoes. 
 
Antoni hopes to become an engineer when he grows up, so he know it is important to stay in school. The gift of shoes is not only keeping his feet protected from cuts and parasites, it is helping him get to class every day so he can reach this goal. 
 
Give a gift that will make a child's life better. Provide shoes for a child who has none this Christmas.