Heeling Soles Project - North Africa
With our shoe donations in a large holdall, we linked up with Amadou Tounkara from a very new organisation based in the capital of the North African country of Mauritania, Noukchott. Amadou is a representative of Aide aux Enfants de Mauritanie Help the Children of Mauritania...
We told Amadou about our holdall full of shoes and that we would like to distribute them to those in need and he said that we could do this through his organisation and that he would organise this to happen in the place where he grew up... After this visit to his home we took a taxi to the Cinquieme, an area that Amadou described as one of the poorest areas in the city.
There Amadou showed us the house that he and his family used to live in. A house with holes in the roof and within which when it rained water would come up almost to the knee...
Amadou told me,
"I have no shame about where I come from and about my struggle, I wanted to show you so that you understand where I am from."
He introduced us to the old man that mans the only water tap in the area. Slowly women and children from the local area and the local school began to arrive and we opened up the bag of shoes and started giving them away.
As the kids took the shoes and put them on there was just this amazing pride on their faces that same excitement that we have when we rock a new pair of kicks... And maybe they’d be able to go to school the next day with their new shoes on and feel that feeling that is so easy for us to obtain. That pride.
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