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Lafayette Students Make Shoes for Kids in Africa

Students at Lafayette High School put their hearts and souls into some shoes. They participated in a community service project for 'Sole Hope,' an organization that provides shoes for children in Africa.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Students at Lafayette High School made soles for children in Africa, as part of a community service project.

"36 million people in Uganda, and many children living in poverty like they've never seen before," said Lisa Miller.

"Bare feet, and callused feet. I mean, they have shoes on the bottom of their feet because their soles are so thick from walking barefoot everyday," said Tammy Flowers.

Flowers, the Early Childhood Coordinator for St. Joseph School District, has been to Africa multiple times.

She spoke to students about her time in Uganda and Ethiopia, and their need for shoes.

Flowers said often times, people in Africa walk around barefoot.

"If they're going somewhere, they're walking. If they're going to work, if they're going to school,  if they're going to market, if they're going to take the cows from one village to another, if they're taking them out to pasture, they're walking," said Flowers.

That causes jiggers - small sand fleas that come through bare feet and hide in the skin.

Students were motivated after hearing Flowers talk about her experiences, and wanted to help.

"You know you wouldn't want your feet looking like that. You know how painful that must be. So, it kind of gave inspiration to everyone," said Ryan.

"That really made it real-world to the kids. So, what they're doing now really makes them feel like they're making a difference," said Miller.

By the end of this project, they'll make about 300 soles for the souls of many African children.

"They're not sad they don't have shoes, but they're grateful when they get them because they realize how much of an impact they can have on their everyday living," said Flowers.

DECA students at Lafayette High School partnered with fourth graders at Bessie Ellison Elementary, and collected 100 pairs of jeans and 70 milk jugs for this project.

CLICK HERE for more information on Sole Hope.

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