AOTW: ‘The Difference Your Shoes Can Make To These Women Is Amazing’

We might not have this many shoes but at least we have some… (source:

My favourite magazine has once again raised the bar for being a fashion weekly that goes beyond the shop window and catwalk. This week’s issue included an article on a new campaign that Look was asked to support in aid of women in The Gambia… by donating shoes!

Someone Else’s Shoes, supported by Benenden Hospital and BACE, was founded by to supply women in one of the poorest countries with shoes. They’ve been collecting shoes to supply women who have to walk miles each day barefoot to collect water before farming rice and groundnut fields. As Look explains, the lack of shoes often ends up with infected feet from rubbish and rocks finding their way into cracks and cuts. The campaign is about getting shoes on these women in order to protect their feet every day.

The article itself is somewhat eyeopening. The Look team went out with Jane Barlow, the woman behind it all, to hand out shoes to children and women in The Gambia. Their description of the trip out was amazing. I particularly laughed at how Jane put as many shoes in her own luggage as possible out of fear that the shipping containers with the majority of them would go missing. Now that’s commitment! And that the women all wanted the nicest shoes to wear to church rather than trainers for collecting water… some things are just universal!

I guess what this article did was make me appreciate another division between my life and that of countless other women. To think that I complain when I only have three pairs when women in The Gambia have none is ridiculous yet true. So while I might not stop buying shoes, next time I spy a pair of DMs with embroidered leather I might just stop and wait a moment…Do I really need them?

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