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Entries in Tanzania (5)

Friday
Feb032012

Teamwork in Africa: Shoes for Kids in Need

Cupertino teen helps put shoes on the feet of poor children in Africa

A few polite inquiries from Cupertino resident Shawn Esmaili put shoes on the feet of poor children in Tanzania.

Esmaili, 18, a junior at Saint Francis High School, was recently honored by K2 Adventures Foundation for his work in donating hundreds of shoes to poor children in the African nation. He received the foundation's first junior humanitarian award in 22 years.

Esmaili worked with K2 to get shoes sent to an orphanage in Tanzania that cares for roughly 600 children struggling with blindness. He said he was surprised to learn that the soil competition causes children to suffer from foot fungus, which cause their feet and even stomachs to swell.

"They said they needed shoes really badly. This is the only thing they wanted," he said. "I had no idea just how much these shoes would impact their lives."

Esmaili contacted major shoe companies such as Reebok, Puma, Converse, Adidas and Vans. Over a period of three months last year, he secured more than 700 pairs of shoes.

Esmaili said he was surprised that a few inquiries to the shoe companies would result in such positive feedback.

"I never would have expected to get so much support from these organizations. That was the really surprising part," he said. "I have them to thank for all of this. If it wasn't for their generosity, it would not have happened."

Esmaili's philanthropic ways began when he was 12 years old and traveling in Iran. He visited an orphanage for gifted and talented middle school-age children and heard their life stories. He said he was inspired to help poor children immediately after chatting with some of the orphans.

"I realized how fortunate I was, how much I had and how much they did not have," he said. "These kids were very bright; they were first or second in their class. This is when I found that this is what I want to do. This is the day I changed my life."

Last summer, Esmaili was in Haiti with Global Family Philanthropy, and it was there that he made connections with K2. The 10-day trip was an eye-opener for him, and he has since been continuing aid efforts for the earthquake-ravaged nation.

Esmaili was honored in Scottsdale, Ariz., late last year at K2's headquarters. The shoe donations even inspired him and K2 to sell the shoes at discount prices at makeshift "pop-up" stores in Scottsdale earlier this month.

The money from the stores is going toward medical equipment in Haiti. To date, the effort has raised $12,000, with a goal of reaching $25,000.

Esmaili has his own nonprofit, Youth Against Poverty, which works to connect his fellow teenagers with groups that work to help poor and impoverished children around the world. The organization is working to get official nonprofit status.

 

Sunday
Dec042011

Great Teamwork: Over 823 Pairs of Shoes Donated!!

YAP Successes in Tanzania and San Francisco

  • We have donated a total of 700 pairs of shoes to the 600 blind orphans in Tanzania.
  • We want to thank Vans, adidas, Converse, Reebok, and Puma for being so generous in saving the lives of these orphans who have suffered all this time from foot fungus, when the only cure is wearing shoes.
  • The first package of shoes just arrived in Tanzania and it has completely changed their lives. The rest is still on its way to Tanzania, arriving there soon.
  • Thanks to Converse, we also donated 123 pairs of shoes to the Compass Center
  • The Compass Center is a shelter for homeless kids in San Francisco, age 2-10, who live their lives sleeping in the streets or in broken families
  • The shelter is their only source of hope to thrive

 

Thursday
Sep222011

YAP has donated another 360 pairs of shoes to the Orphanage in Tanzania

We have just shipped 300 pairs of Vans shoes plus another 60 pairs of Converse shoes to the orphanage in Tanzania, bringing us very close to our 600 pair quota. This also includes the 200 pairs of shoes we sent last week. The orphanage has 600 kids, all of them blind and never having worn shoes before. This is a donation of at least $18,000 in cost with an approximate retail value of $33,000.

By doing this, we can change the lives of these orphans by preventing the spread of foot fungus, which is their biggest problem for them.

Tuesday
Sep202011

YAP Donates 200 Pairs of Shoes to Orphanage for the Blind in Tanzania

Youth Against Poverty has just donated 200 pairs of Converse shoes to an orphanage for the blind in Tanzania. The orphanage was founded by the K2 Foundation and the orphans have never owned a pair of shoes. Also, many of the orphans are currently suffering from foot fungus, mainly because of the composition of the dirt and soil that causes the foot to swell. By wearing shoes, it will prevent the kids from having foot fungus and will forever change their lives. We just take for granted how important shoes are to us. Once you hear about how badly kids need shoes, you start to appreciate the shoes you wear everyday wherever you go.

Monday
Aug152011

YAP is donating shoes to Mwereni Integrated School for the Blind in Tanzania

YAP is donating shoes to the Mwereni Integrated School for the Blind in Tanzania on behalf of the K2 Adventures Foundation. The school consists of 600 students, an equal number of boys and girls, from the ages of 5-18. What the students need most are close toed shoes because their biggest issue they are dealing with right now is foot fungus. There are cases of 9 year old boys needing size 13 shoes due to the foot fungus. So far, YAP was able to donate 115 pairs of shoes alone, but we still need more shoes to donate. If any of you have any shoes that you are willing to donate, please contact me at shawnesmaili@gmail.com. Your help can prevent this fungus and make lives better for the already blind students in Tanzania.