Last month, MADRE distributed 535 pairs of shoes to girls affected by the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Their first distribution was the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV) care center for teenage girls. Here is a note they wrote us:
Many of the victims KOFAVIV works with are young teenage girls who lost everything after the earthquake. Almost two years later, these young girls are still struggling, living under the tarps that make up their tents, and walking distances to get to school every morning. The flimsy sandals that they wear every day quickly fall apart from their long walks to school, to work and back to their tents.
Widnie, a 16 year old member of KOFAVIV, was so excited to be receiving a new pair of shoes since her thong sandals had broken a few days before and she had been walking around with a missing sole and the exposed part was starting to dig into her skin. She was so happy to receive a pair of closed toe black shoes that “were comfortable and that [she] could wear to school every day.
Some of the other young girls were particularly excited about the sequined tennis shoes, joking that they would be the most stylish girls in their area and that they would look like superstars. They were walking around, playfully posing like models. You could see that they felt more confident, and had more self-esteem with the shoes on.”