First Lady Sandra Granger, in collaboration with the ‘Rethink’ Organisation, the Ministry of Social Cohesion and Caribbean Airlines, yesterday, presented over 1500 pairs of shoes to students from the hinterland regions, who are currently studying in Georgetown.
At a ceremony held on the lawns of State House, the First Lady presented the shoes to the students, in the presence of Junior Minister of Health, Dr. Karen Cummings; Junior Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Ernie Ross, Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Trinidad and Tobago, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said.
The shoes were donated under the ‘Rethink Initiative-Kind Soles Project’, started by Ross, in support of the President’s initiative to ensure that all children, regardless of their location, are able to attend school. This is the first batch of a total of 30,000 shoes, which are expected to be given to all students in the hinterland regions of Guyana over the coming months.
In explaining the genesis of the project, the First Lady said the shoes, called “the shoes that grow” is designed to ensure that it can still fit the children as they age since it is expandable.
“I had a discussion with Mr. Ernie Ross, after he had seen a picture of the hinterland children bare feet, and he said he wanted to provide some shoes for them. Well, I had seen a programme on BBC where a charitable organisation working in Africa had recognised the need for shoes for the children that can protect them from cuts and infections and so on, and so they developed this shoe called “Shoes that grow”. [Being] a mother, I know you buy shoes and in six months their sizes change. So we thought this was the best for the children since it can still be worn as they get older and we approached the company,” Mrs Granger said.