Tom's Shoes at Kochogo

Posted on
30th Sep 2015
by Martina Gant

Health Tom's bare feet Kochogo Rural Children's Centres

Alumni donor provides shoes to every child at one of our Rural Children’s Centres

Kochogo Integrated Child Development Centre received a pair of Tom’s shoes for each of the 180 children, with a promise for continued support as feet grow.  

Sidharth Shah first got involved with (then KOP) in 2009 when he visited our projects as one of the most notorious student group ever... the infamous ‘Swine Flu’ group from Nottingham University.

He returned in 2011 and, now he's a successful businessman in his hometown of Mombasa, he was keen to use his contacts to support the projects he visited as a student.

Sid’s partner company, Umoja Rubber,  manufacture Tom’s shoes in Kenya which are distributed by their partner Cohesu.  Impressed with the work of our partner Omega Foundation and the work of the Community at Kochogo, Cohesu donated over 180 pairs of shoes to the children supported at the centre.

Kochogo supports vulnerable children in a rural community in Western Kenya and 72% of the children at Kochogo have lost one or both both parents.  Over 50% of the parental deaths were caused by HIV/AIDS.  

The remaining 28% are vulnerable due to issues including the economic strain on families supporting additional orphaned children, children living with HIV, elderly caregivers, abandonment and family separation.  Many suffer from discrimination, marginalisation and stigmatisation.

All of the children are living in poverty and most don’t have shoes, without which they’re susceptible to parasites such as soil transmitted helminths like hookworm,  schistosomiasis and jiggers. Such infections cause unpleasant symptoms in the short term but have long term implications because cognition is impaired meaning children struggle to reach their potential in school.

Thanks to Sid, Cohesu and Tom’s, now that all of the children have shoes, the positive effects of the other interventions provided by the centre, like access to deworming medication, improved nutrition and sanitation services, will have a longer lasting impact on their health and education.

When we asked Sid what motivated him to get involved again, he said simply “ rocks!”.  Thanks Sid - we think you rock!