Yesterday, my daughter's school observed One Day Without Shoes. It's a movement encouraging people to spend one day (April 10th) without shoes so they can empathize how horrible it must be to live in a poor country and go barefoot. Going barefoot can cause heath issues such as jiggers in addition to physically hurting your feet on debris. In addition, not having shoes can be a barrier to going to school, making education difficult to achieve.
TOMS Shoes is behind this cause. With every shoe purchased, TOMS Shoes donates a pair to a child in need of a new pair of shoes. As of two years ago, TOMS has given over 600,000 pairs of shoes. Considering the rise in their popularity over the last couple of years, I'm sure that number is much higher today!
My daughter's teacher is the person responsible for bringing One Day without Shoes to my daughter's school. Because of this, my daughter and her class had to "play tour guides" for the school to help them experience One Day without Shoes. I'm not sure they executed it exactly as the program was intended because you can't have kids go barefoot for the entire day. But the kids did take their shoes off and go through different areas of the playground where they had to walk on different surfaces to feel some level of discomfort.
The kids walked through mushed bananas, very wet mud, ice, sandpaper, and marbles. My daughter wasn't fond of the marbles. She was too scared she'd fall, so she didn't spend much time there. She did spend extra time in the other stations though. She said she wanted to really experience what poor people have to live through in other countries.
I wonder if she kind of enjoyed the sensory experience. She claimed she didn't (but I wonder).
It was a wonderful experience for the kids, and it hopefully showed them that they have it pretty good here. I'm all for any exercise that helps develop empathy.
TOMS Shoes did not reimburse me for this post. They don't know my blog or anything about me. I just think their company mission is cool and wanted to share about this project, which I also think is cool!