Footwear donations by children in Morpeth will enable their peers in developing countries to go to school and help protect them from nasty infections.
Claire Rowley, who has a son in Year 1 at Stobhillgate First School, read about the Sal’s Shoes charity on Facebook.
It collects thousands of pairs of outgrown children’s shoes each year and distributes them to those desperately in need in more than 25 countries. For some, this may be their first ever pair of shoes.
She contacted headteacher Neil Richmond and he agreed to put an appeal in the school newsletter asking parents to donate footwear at an assembly, which took place last Thursday.
At the end of it, the pupils took off the shoes to be donated – hundreds of pairs were handed in – and walked back to their classrooms, where they put on another pair or their PE shoes for the rest of the school day.
Mrs Rowley said: “Both the parents I spoke to and Mr Richmond said it was a really good idea and after the situation facing millions of underprivileged children around the world was pointed out to the pupils, they were very keen to help out.”
It is estimated that there are 300million barefoot children worldwide and in many countries, you cannot go to school without a pair of shoes.
Those without shoes are also vulnerable to infection by parasites, such as hookworm, while injuries to the feet and ankles can lead to ulcers and other conditions that are almost always left untreated.
Mr Richmond said: “I’m overwhelmed by the response of the children and the support from parents for this appeal.
“Having shoes could be a lifesaver for many children in developing countries.”
The footwear from Stobhillgate will be transported to the charity’s distribution centre in Surrey later in the summer.