In 2017, MJL partnered once again with the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka, this time to fund the provision and distribution of no less than 100 shoes to some of Sri Lanka’s poorest children. And of course, these are no ordinary shoes. These are shoes that grow, courtesy of US organisation Because International.
Many lives were devastated and children orphaned in Sri Lanka due to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the 30-year civil war. While the war ended in 2009, there are numerous families still living in extreme poverty, some of whom live in makeshift homes and shelters with limited access to electricity or water. While education is free for all in Sri Lanka, in some cases travelling to school is a hardship with many children attending school without adequate footwear or completely barefoot, leaving them at risk of injury or infection.
What would Michael do? Of course, we already knew the answer as we set to help fund this life-changing initiative, providing shoes for 100 children in the neediest areas of the country and helping them to escape the cycle of poverty. Every $21 (£17) paid for the shoes to be transported from Because International right onto a pair of needy feet in Sri Lanka and once again, Michael’s Army of advocates did him very, very proud.
The shoes were distributed to little outstretched hands and joyful faces at the Sivasakthi Tamil School in the rural district of Galaha, Kandy. In addition, aspiring table tennis players in Seenigama benefitted from a coaching session conducted by our Treasurer Anusha (former England under-11 table tennis champion) and the provision of a state- of-the-art table tennis robot to enhance their training sessions for many years to come. What’s more, our Arts and Crafts officer Cindy hand-decorated 100 pairs of socks and made 100 heart-shaped tags, all of which were given out with the shoes.
Our thanks to all involved for helping to light up the future of a little boy or girl and for giving these little ones hope in a better tomorrow.