“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Imagine not being able to attend school because you don’t have the required pair of shoes.
Imagine being asked to leave school because you have outgrown the pair of shoes you have and have no others.
Imagine that the shoes that you need for school will cost your family up to half of your monthly income.
Hard to imagine is it not?
Not if you are among the 18 million Ugandan children under the age of sixteen – up to a third of which are not in school during a given academic semester. For them, owning shoes and attending school is only a dream because their families are too poor to afford the shoes required as part of the school uniform.
Uganda Shoe Trees (501c3) is one of the three prime initiatives of Shoe Tree Educational Support, an international, non-profit, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered in Uganda. The other initiatives are Let’s Go Green and Barefoot Uganda. Each element exists to support eco-friendly, self-sustaining, educational opportunities to fight poverty in rural Uganda.
We provide entrepreneurial educators with locally-sourced, hand-crafted school shoes, indigenous fruit trees, and other educational resources through innovative partnerships with philanthropic individuals, corporations, and organizations.
Uganda Shoe Trees works to provide to needy children throughout Uganda. These shoes provide hope and the chance at the education they desperately need to escape a life of poverty. Each donation of $20 will provide shoes and two fruit-bearing trees for one needy child!
Number of Children NOT in School in Uganda
Monthly Income Necessary to Purchase School Shoes
Amount That Goes Directly to Purchasing Shoes and Fruit Trees
David & Kylie started their support of Uganda in 2010 when they began sponsoring a girl named Gift through school. When they were offered the chance to help direct the efforts of Uganda Shoe Trees (UST), they jumped at the opportunity. As Uganda Shoe Trees’ “Global Ambassadors,” David & Kylie take seriously the task of spreading the message of and raising awareness for the organization.
At many of the shows that David & Kylie perform, they will perform an effect to highlight the need in Uganda. Then, they offer the audience the chance to donate to this very worthy cause at their merchandise table.
The Knights don’t take any payment for their role and every cent collected goes directly toward the purchase of shoes. David & Kylie always say “Our favorite money is Uganda money!”
The Story of Rachel
Our team found Rachael alongside the road in Uganda. She was walking through the forest carrying a machete and selling jackfruit to passersby in order to support her family. In her hand was her school registration.
When our team asked why she was not in school, she simply looked down at the shoes on her feet that she had grown out of and were not the proper type. As it happened, the team was visiting children in and around Jinja and happened to have some shoes with them. Low and behold, they fit.
We love this photo because it encapsulates the transformative power of Uganda Shoe Trees. At her feet on her right is the jackfruit and machete she does not need anymore as she can now attend school. You can see Rachael stepping out of her old shoes and into her new ones. She is literally taking her next steps into an education and a better life for her and her family.