IN A symbolic show of solidarity, pupils across the area removed their shoes and walked around barefoot after donating them to help children in Third World countries.
Children from Queen’s Inclosure Primary School in Waterlooville and Peel Common Infant and Junior Schools in Fareham strolled out in support of the many children who are unable to attend school because they have no shoes.
Hundreds of pairs were collected for two different causes, Sal’s Shoes and Unicef Shoe Share in partnership with Clarks.
The shoes will be sent to countries such as Africa and will allow young children who don’t have a pair of their own to start receiving education.
Marie Wilson, treasurer of the Parent Teacher Association at Queen’s Inclosure, said: ‘Through Sal’s Shoes the association found out that so many kids in Third World countries can’t attend school because they have no shoes, so we decided to help.
‘Crowds of children removed their shoes, left them on their desks and walked out of school classrooms barefoot in support of those kids.
‘We know we’ve got about 300 pairs ready to be sent off, but some pupils brought extra pairs in too. All the youngsters taking part have been so excited to help out.’
And parents have backed the project too, appreciating the message it sends to their children.
Sam Wilson, whose son Charlie and daughter Alicia attend Queen’s Inclosure, said: ‘My daughter fully understands that she’s giving her shoes to another child on the other side of the world and she’s really proud to be able to help.
‘Doing this sends such a positive message to all the pupils here. I think it’s a great thing to do.’
Year Two and Year Six pupils at Peel Common Infant and Junior Schools also left their shoes in their classrooms.
Headteacher at Peel Common Infant School Lesley Spicer said: ‘All the children were very excited when we talked about it during assembly and the event helps them to realise how lucky they all are.’
All the pairs of shoes collected will go to Clarks in Gosport and will help Unicef to raise money to fund educational projects and change children’s lives.
Since 2008, the Shoe Share project has raised £1m.