Walk in their Shoes – What a Day!

April 23 was a beautiful day for a Walk in their Shoes. The Ubuntu Global Connections fundraiser was truly a global event, with 170 people around the world involved. Walks were hosted in 5 countries, and supporters from over 20 countries all came together for an entertaining, educational kick-off Zoom call.

This was the second Walk in their Shoes 10k, and it raised over $13,000 for one of our partners in South Africa, Axium Education. Axium’s dedicated team works every day to improve and build a better education for rural South African school children.

Here, in the words of young Axium student Siphosethu is what inspired us to lace up our walking shoes and walk the walk for these kids:

“Growing up, the distance between home and school was quite far. I would have to wake up at 4, go get water from the river 2km away, make a fire, boil the water, take a bath, eat and then go to school. School started at 7 so we needed to leave home at 6am. Sometimes we would jog to school because we were often late.

I didn’t have shoes, so winter was a bad time for me. The gravel road would sometimes turn icy…it was tough. One day in grade 5 or grade 6, it was raining and we were on the other side of the river. We were told not to come to school if the river was full. But there was going to be a test at school and I didn’t want to walk the long way around to be able to cross the river. So I tried to cross but the water took me. I was able to grab onto something in the water and I managed to get to school eventually.”

We never cease to be humbled and inspired by stories like this, by the thirst to learn, the tenacity and positivity of children like Siphosethu. These kids work so hard, against all odds, with so little…no electricity, no running water…just to get a basic education.

Among the numerous challenges these children face is the need to walk such a distance to school – on often challenging terrain. By walking together “in their shoes” we have increased our understanding of their lives, and directly helped improve educational outcomes and career opportunities for the young “learners” served by Axium.

Thanks to all who made this day so special!