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ChildFund Goes Bare for One Day Without Shoes

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Contact: LaTasha Chambers, Communications Associate or 804-545-3626

Richmond, VA – April 3, 2012– Imagine having to walk to work or school barefoot crossing hot pavement, stepping on a pebble, getting bit by a bug. That’s the reality for many children in the countries where we work.

On April 10, ChildFund International will participate in One Day Without Shoes. Employees are encouraged to spend the day barefoot to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. The experience will be captured on ChildFund’s Facebook and Twitter pages and the organization’s website.

ChildFund works in many developing countries where access to decent shoes is limited. For example, Liberia endured 14 years of civil war, which took a heavy toll on the education sector before the conflict ended in 2003. To date, school enrollment and retention rates are low. One reason for this is that students are required to wear uniforms and shoes to school. Without shoes, they can’t attend.

A lack of shoes also means children’s feet are exposed to diseases, infections and cuts. A ChildFund study in 2010 estimated that 15 percent of school-aged children in developing countries have hookworm or another parasitic disease due to bare feet. For hundreds of millions of children, growing up barefoot puts them at risk of injury, infection and soil-transmitted diseases and most don’t have access to medical care for treatment.

A pair of shoes can be the link to education and a determinant of long-term success and a healthier life.

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ChildFund International is a global child development and protection agency serving more than 13.5 million children and their family members in 31 countries. For more than 70 years, we have helped the world’s deprived, excluded and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund Alliance we create supportive environments in which children can flourish. To sponsor a child in need, visit the ChildFund website.