King’s School has put its best foot forward to send over 300 pairs of shoes to
primary schools in Ghana.
Since 2015, King’s youngest pupils have
donated their old school shoes at the end of the academic year so their
counterparts in Ghana can walk, what is often many miles to and from school, in
comfort. Worldwide, there are 300 million
children for whom walking with shoes is a rarity. This makes them extremely
vulnerable to infection, parasites and injuries to the feet and ankles.
with the charity Connecting Kids Education Foundation (CKEF), who support
schools in rural Ghana and organise shipping and distribution, King’s pupils
can then follow the progress of their Ghanaian friends with regular photos and
has also sent school furniture, sports kit, a projector and books to set up a
library. As their Director of External Relations Caroline Johnson, who
organises the scheme, said: “We are told the project has had a profound impact
on absenteeism, literacy rates and even teenage pregnancy, as it enables
children to see a brighter future and have higher aspirations.”
added: “It also gives our pupils a deeper appreciation of just how privileged
they are to have access not only to an excellent education, but also what we
think of as basics such as footwear, desks and books.”
was set up by local philanthropist Ellen Blamires, who also comes in to King’s
to speak to the pupils about her charity work and offer older students
potential gap year opportunities working in central and southern Ghana. Former
pupil Harry Hayward visited the CKEF projects in Ghana on his gap year, helping
to build teaching blocks for schools and set-up the library.
added: “The shoe collection is now an important part of our end of year
celebrations. As a mum of three, I know how quickly children grow out of their
shoes and we are sending high quality school shoes which our pupils have grown
out of and would otherwise just be thrown away. It’s a case of waste not want
not, which is another vital lesson.”
Johnson is pictured with Year 3 pupils and their shoes.
King’s desks and books donated in the library
Sports kit being worn by recipients in Ghana