13 November 2011

Rwanda: US Company Donates Shoes to School Children

Toms shoe company based in California US, in cooperation with an international Non Governmental Organisation, Partners In Health (PIH), donated shoes to over 1000 school childrenof Nkondo primary school in Kayonza District.

The ceremony that was attended by hundreds of parents, took almost a whole day as children kept trying on each and every pair of shoes to get their fit.

Nkondo primary school is located in Rwinkwavu sector.

The company's Senior Giving Accountant Manager, Jenise Steverding, said that TOMS is a for-profit company with a social cause and was committed to support education programs around the world.

"TOMS has a model of buy one, give one. For every pair of shoes bought, TOMS donates a pair to someone who needs it elsewhere in the world. This is what we are doing here today," she said.

Antoinette Habinshuti, Deputy Country Director PIH, said that the donation was in line with government's program to have every individual wear shoes.

"PIH enjoys long term partnership with TOMS...donations will thus continue. We shall also sensitize parents to take good care of the shoes so that they last long. Shoes covering the whole feet will reduce children's exposure to certain diseases," she said.

John Mugabo, the Mayor of the district, commended the relentless support of TOMS and PIH to the community.

He requested the company to think about investing in Rwanda, adding that Rwanda and the region would offer good market for the shoes.

"Shoes are vital in foot protection particularly in rural areas where there are thorns and snakes. It would however serve us more if such a company was brought to Kayonza District," he said.

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