“I like to be able to feel whatever I’m standing on,” Grey says. Today he is barefoot, feet firmly planted in the mud and grass in a village in eastern Uganda. Grey hasn’t put on shoes since October.
“I’m doing No Shoes November to fight against jiggers,” says Grey, a resident of Jinja, Uganda.
Like any self-respecting 12-year-old, Grey likes being barefoot, but these past few weeks have been eye-opening. “Never having the protection of shoes is hard,” he says. “It’s nice to be barefoot but there’s a lot that can stab or scrape your foot.”
Grey says he wasn’t quite prepared for the stares he gets and for a feeling of being judged. “It’s a very visible thing,” he says.
Grey invented No Shoes November to support the work Sole Hope is doing to end jiggers in Uganda.
“My hope for this project is that I will be able to raise awareness and inspire some more shoe cutting parties,” Grey says. “I want some other kids to not have to live their whole lives like this.”