WINDHOEK, 16 SEPT – Namibian school kids will be the first benefactors from Never Walk Alone’s shoe initiative, as the project begins to go nationwide. Already, three children have benefitted from the initiative that is aimed toward providing shoes to children first and eventually to try and provide shoes for older people.
Speaking at a local hotel, Tim Ekandjo, founder of the project, said that the project is set to benefit school children first, then other children without shoes, before going on to helping those who generally do not have shoes.
Moreover, Ekandjo said the plan is to hand over shoes to children starting in Maltahoe.
“While we estimate that 31 755 children need shoes, that number is bound to go up to perhaps 50 000 nationwide. We have been gathering figures and statistics to see how best we can solve this problem of kids not having shoes. It is not only limited to school children, but to Namibians in general who have no shoes to wear,” said Ekandjo.
The project has seen a multitude of sponsors come on board, including Shilongo Leather Works, who have pledged to discount the shoes by 30%.
‘We are happy to be part of this project. Our shoes are made from 80% local raw material and we measure each child with a ruler in order to guarantee a perfect fit,” said General Manager Thomas Shilongo.
Another sponsor MVA Fund pledged 100 000 for the cause.
“We are also equally excited to be part of donating funds to the first beneficiaries of the Never Walk Alone project since its launch a few weeks ago. We did not think twice upon receiving this request from Mr Tim Ekandjo to contribute some funding that would help give new locally made shoes to our young generation. It is in view of this that the Fund has decided to sponsor an amount of N$100 000 to the Never Walk Alone Project. We hope this donation will goa long way in putting a smile on every child who receives their brand new pair of shoes and at the same time – never walk alone, but walk with dignity,” said MVA Chief Corporate Affairs, Surihe Gaomas-Guchu.
Three Grade 3 students, Felicano Paulus, Lineekela Immanuel and Moses Neema, from Green Leaves Primary School were the first recipients of the shoes under the project. Ekandjo said that the project would be going Thursday afternoon to Hardap region where they would be handing out 1000 shoes on Friday and Saturday and 350 shoes in Kalkrand on Sunday. The project plans to go to Omaheke in November and distribute 350 shoes.
“We are also going to have a gala dinner on 29 October. There is also an SMS competition were you text 44844 at a cost of 50 dollars. It is a fundraising competition and the winners will be announced on 31 October. Competitors stand a chance to win one of two iPhone 12s and two full body massages for themselves and their partner,” said Ekandjo.- email@example.com