speak to our mission, YES, Inc.’s initial project, Shoes for
Africa, has focused on collecting new and gently-used shoes, and
distributing them to those in need. In the first quarter of 2007
alone, we shipped over 15,000 pairs of shoes to Senegal, West
The shoes are
shipped via ocean cargo. Once they arrive, they're retrieved
from customs and warehoused in Peking, a district in Dakar, the
capital city of Senegal, until the time for distribution.
Our coordinator in Senegal then supervises the loading of the
shoes into vans. Each van is routed to its destination (some
locations are remote and accessed only by boat) where the shoes
are given out to individuals in need.)
Since shoes are an item of comfort, even fashion, for most of
the people you know, you might ask, “Why shoes? Aren’t there
higher-priority needs in Africa?”
Shoes Aid in Preventing Debilitating
Because wearing shoes helps
prevent the spread of parasitic diseases that plague an
estimated billion people worldwide, they are a basic human
necessity. And the reality of life for many individuals in
impoverished parts of Africa, Asia, and South America is that
shoes are a rarity. It is not uncommon for children to grow up
in these areas without ever having had a pair of new shoes - or
any shoes at all.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that
there are many hazards associated with going barefoot in
contaminated sand, soil and dirty water, but the most obvious
public health problem is hookworm disease.
Shoes also help prevent
strongyloidiasis, podoconiosis and nonfililal elephanticisis. In
many developing countries where stagnant water is a problem,
these diseases are almost a condition of life. Parasites breed
in such water, with females releasing 3,000 to 200,000 eggs per
day depending on their type. Children sometimes swim in
parasite-infested waters, and in the absence of suitable
drinking water, people may be forced to drink it and use it for
cooking purposes. Amongst the poorest of the poor, treatment for
parasitic infections becomes a vicious cycle.
Once parasites enter the body, they often perforate the
intestines, circulatory system, lungs, liver and other organs,
and cause physical trauma. They can lump together in balls, and
travel into and erode or block the brain, heart and lungs. On
occasion, these lumps have been mistaken for cancerous tumors.
Parasites also give off metabolic waste products that poison our
bodies. Left untreated, the infections they cause can result in
the loss of limbs, chronic illness and even death.
Parasitic infections often prevent adults from being able to
work and children from being able to attend school. The
relationships between illness, access to education, and poverty
have been well-documented by organizations such as the United
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization
(WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Although most parasitic diseases are easily preventable, in the
last 20 years or so, the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria has
captured public attention and resources resulting in their being
overlooked, which is why they have earned the name “diseases of
neglect.” Through the efforts of “Shoes for Africa,” YES, Inc.
envisions increased awareness about these conditions, and is
working to serve as a bridge between global and grassroots
organizations seeking to eradicate them and alleviate poverty in
(Read and listen to an article on parasitic diseases on Morning
Edition on National Public Radio (NPR).
relationships between illness and poverty and illness to access to
education have been well documented by organizations such as the
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health
Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and
the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Shoes for Africa
works toward disease prevention in an effort to promote education
and alleviate poverty in Senegal, Africa.
View some statistical information about Senegal, Africa
10 Steps to Coordinating a Successful 'Gently
Worn' or New Shoe Drive
- Contact “Shoes for Africa” at
404-438-1991. A “Shoes for Africa” representative will
communicate with you via phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
to cover shoe drive details.
- Secure a date to begin. Most
shoe drives last around four weeks.
- Secure your drop-off locations
at your place of worship, school, office or other facility.
Secure a location to process the shoes (warehouse, gym,
community building, etc.).
“Shoes for Africa” can provide sample promotional materials such
as posters, flyers for you to help promote your shoe drive.
- Suggest a $1 or $2.00 donation
per pair to offset shipping cost.
- Feel free to use your local TV,
radio, and newspaper to publicize the shoe drive.
- Process the collected shoes by
placing a rubber band around each pair and place in boxes for
- Ship your shoes to our warehouse
at 2506 Summercourt Drive, Jonesboro, GA 30236.
Contact a “Shoes for Africa” representative with any shipping
- We will process the shoes and
- Publicize your results and
express appreciation for everyone's participation.
Donate Cash for Freight
We are ALWAYS in need of cash for
sending shipping containers around the world. You can donate online
and receive a full tax credit for the donation.
Join Us on a Socio/Economic Trip
We want you to come with us to see how
you can make a real difference in the lives of people all over the
world. Join us in our Close-up and Personal Tour to Senegal, West
Africa. Contact us to receive more information.
Every contribution is important to us
whether it is 50 pairs or 50,000 pairs. People across North America
are collecting shoes and shipping them to us. We ask that all donors
(companies, retailers, individuals, etc.) absorb the shipping cost
to our warehouse facility.