“Sole 2 Sole” Programme Aims to Provide Children in Need with Properly Fitted Footwear

Toyota’s Managing Director Tom Connor and Patron Hummingbird Charities Dr Christopher Tufton hold a quick conversation about the Sole 2 Sole vans first stop.

Hummingbird Charities, a not-for-profit organisation focused on improving communities and impacting lives across Jamaica through health, education and community development, has launched "Sole 2 Sole" under the patronage of Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton. The programme aims to provide children in need with properly fitted footwear, enabling them to focus on their education and participate fully in school and extracurricular activities. 

  

Speaking at the launch at Toyota Jamaica, the charity’s patron, Dr Christopher Tufton, explained that 150,000 primary and high school students are currently on the PATH programme and that 18% of individuals live below the poverty line. This data and the rising cost of shoes burden families, and "many families will have to choose between meeting basic needs and providing their children with proper footwear."

He explained that this “causes many children to wear ill-fitting or worn-out shoes, which impedes their ability to concentrate and limits their active participation in school and extracurricular activities. Furthermore, beyond the immediate educational challenges, children without properly fitted shoes often face bullying, negatively impacting their self-esteem and emotional well-being. " 

This cycle of disadvantage further widens the gap between those who have access to proper footwear and those who do not, and Hummingbird Charities, through this programme, aims to bridge the gap.

Though officially launched last week, “Sole 2 Sole '' has donated over 600 shoes and has collaborated with the Ministry of Education to determine where the need exists. Furthermore, they have received calls for help from community-based organisations and guidance councillors to which, through partners, they have been able to fulfil and create happy feet. However, more must be done, and the programme aims to target 5,000 shoes over the coming year.

Principal of Kitson Town Primary, Dr Donna Jarrett, recounted her experience in November 2022 at the launch event when “Sole 2 Sole” created happy feet for nine selected students. She explained that most of the school's children come from lower-income families, and programmes like this give students renewed hope. She shared that "many times we have to give children at the school shoes or even tack up their shoes to send them back home” and that on the day of the handover, she noticed confidence exuding in the nine recipients as they “became the envy of other students who did not get a brand new pair of sneakers.”

Chairman for Hummingbird Charities, Mr Roger Anderson, shared that while programmes like “Sole 2 Sole” focus on empowering children on their education journey, the charity has, to date, built homes, hosted medical treats and provided financial assistance and will continue to look for ways to improve communities and impact lives across Jamaica. 

And to make donations across the island even more accessible, Toyota, through their new campaign “Mobility For All,” donated a Lite Ace Bus, unveiled at the event. Branded “Sole 2 Sole”, this van, according to Managing Director Tom Connor, is perfectly aligned with the company's new campaign and will help provide smiles and faces to Jamaican children no matter their location. 

To partner with “Sole 2 Sole”, call 876-575-1014 or email info@hummingbirdcharities.com“Sole 2 Sole” Programme Aims to Provide Children in Need with Properly Fitted Footwear

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