Impoverished Children Shouldn’t Have to Suffer Injury and Disease From Lack of Shoes

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on September 9, 2022

This article has been updated.

What would life be like without shoes?

I enjoy walking barefoot sometimes, and have even bought a pair of shoes that look like socks with a very thin sole. They simulate the feeling of walking barefoot without the potential pain of heat, sticker burrs or rocks. They provide a safer and more comfortable way to feel like I’m walking barefoot. And of course, if I did hurt myself while actually walking barefoot, I have access to clean running water and good first aid to prevent an infection.

For me, the feeling of walking barefoot comes with the luxuries of choice and easy access to sanitation. But millions of children around the world suffer from a lack of shoes while living in unsanitary conditions. If they get cuts on their feet, they may develop infections. They could get hookworm disease.

According to Cleveland Clinic, hookworms come into the body through contact with infected soil, which can happen while walking barefoot. The hookworms then move to the intestines, where they can cause symptoms including pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss and anemia. Complications of a severe hookworm infection are blood loss, a lack of iron and protein, and slowed physical and mental development.

Imagine suffering from a hookworm infection without access to good medical care, while also suffering from malnutrition and unclean drinking water. Providing shoes can be one piece of the puzzle of alleviating suffering for impoverished children around the world.

The Streamโ€™s parent organization, LIFE Outreach International (LOI), has programs that build water wells, provide nutritious meals and fight sex trafficking. LOI also has a program called LIFE’s Christmas Shoe Project. Through it, we provide for children low-cost, durable, all-terrain shoes (They look similar to Crocks) to help protect them from infection and disease. They only cost $3.60 per pair. Just $3.60 makes the difference between health and potential horror.


Please help us raise the $540,000 necessary to bless 150,000 children with new shoes in time for Christmas. Gifts of $36 can provide 10 children with new shoes, $72 can help 40 children and $288 can help 80 children.

The first step starts with us.



Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Like the article? Share it with your friends! And use our social media pages to join or start the conversation! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MeWe and Gab.

The Habit of Nearness
Robert J. Morgan
More from The Stream
Connect with Us