Last week I started a new series called How to Help – which is aimed at highlighting various people and projects around SA that are helping to make a difference. Here is the next post in the series…
Sheila Katz runs a poverty alleviation project in the Northern Cape known as ‘Back to School’
As a professional nurse and TB / HIV programme coordinator, Sheila witnessed children going to school barefoot. Sheila explains her reasons for starting the school shoes charity: “I realised that there are still children, especially in rural and farm areas, that go to school without school shoes. This made me realise that many children in hard to reach areas are more disadvantaged than those in urban areas, as they do not have access to social services.”
Back to School aims to assist these children by collecting school shoes and food parcels. They also address issues such as poor nutation and health. Ultimately the aim of Back to School is to restore the dignity and self-esteem of the children.
This year, Sheila aims to collect at least 300 pairs of school shoes and food packs for 1 000 children. There are many benefits to wearing school shoes – not only does it prevent a wide range of foot diseases and injuries, it also improves self-esteem and encourages participation in school activities.
“I am a firm believer that if you invest in a child, you can change the world one step at a time. Providing a child with shoes is like providing a child with a passport to walk into a bright future. The gratitude and pride on a child face when receiving new school shoes motivates me to reach out to more children.”
This is Sheila’s story of help. If you would like to help contact Sheila Katz on 053 830 0622 or email [email protected]
To read more stories like these, visit www.youcanhelp.co.za