A group of learners from Silukhanyo Primary School has an extra spring in their step after they were gifted with new shoes by NGO Samaritans Feet SA last Friday 23 August.A total of 350 pairs of shoes were handed to needy learners in Grade R to 3; the learners were also treated to a special foot massage. According to Hermien Louw of Samaritans Feet SA, the organisation aims to not only to give learners the gift of shoes, but also wanted to bless their future journeys and give them hope and the belief that they can achieve their goals.Before each learner was called up to receive their new shoes, representatives of the NGO started the day with a prayer. Then barefooted learners lined up to receive their gifts.Louw said they contacted the school to inquire whether there was a need for new shoes for learners. “It is important that each child has proper footwear and that your feet are protected from cuts and bruises. We also need to ensure our feet are warm, as cold feet are a health hazard.“After contacting the school, they provided us with a list of names, but we informed them that we want to serve all the foundation phase learners. There’s more to this donation than just the protection of the feet; there’s also the heart and we wanted to talk to all the children.”Sibongile Bubesi, a teacher at Silukhanyo Primary, expressed the school’s gratitude to Samaritans Feet SA for its generosity. “Its support will create the opportunity for our learners to come to school and fulfil their dreams,” he said.“This will expand options for our learners to ensure they succeed in their future.”He added the donor’s partnership with the school was very important, as it was in line with the school’s mission.The NGO wanted to give each recipient a special experience, as each child is unique and special. It also hopes to partner with other community organisations in the quest to alleviate the effects of social challenges. “The more people we have, the stronger we can be,” Louw said.Apart from the donation of footwear to needy communities, Samaritans Feet SA occasionally provides food, clothes and toys to beneficiaries, depending on the organisation it partners with.“We are focusing on the Western Cape, but we hope to grow and word in other parts of South Africa,” Louw said. “At least 17 000 children in the Western Cape don’t have proper footwear. Our aim is to hand out at least 800 pairs of shoes every month in 2020. But the success of the project depends on the support and funding we get.”In the Helderberg the organisation hoped to assist children in the Sir Lowry’s Pass community as well as people at old age homes. Other organisations are invited to support the cause and collaborate on making the project a success.V If you would like to support Samaritans Feet SA, contact Louw via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.