Today is Shoe the World Day.

When Isaac came to Sole Hope he was a little boy with big dreams. He comes from a place where jiggers can drain not just a person’s blood, but also their future. However, with his new knowledge and new shoes Isaac is ready to take on the world.

Shoes change lives. They change the lives of the craftspeople that build them. They change the lives of the people that wear them. They change the lives of the people that give them.

Here in Uganda we are fighting against jiggers. These parasites can make life difficult or impossible for the people infested by them. Sole hope builds shoes, builds relationships, builds knowledge, and together we change lives.

Shoe the world day and the work that Sole Hope does is about more than fashion. It’s about more than job creation. It’s about more than living jigger free. It’s about solving problems together and supporting each other as a local and global community. It’s about how generosity, resourcefulness, and hope can cross back and forth between oceans, cultures, and continents. It’s about being stronger together.

In our quest to eradicate jiggers we partner with people all over the world. We work with people who scour the roads and landfills for discarded tires, and cut them carefully so that our shoemakers can craft them into soles. We work with teachers in schools who educate and care for vulnerable children. We work with parents striving for a better future for their children. We work with people who cut their jeans into shoe uppers, pack care kits, and pour out their hearts and souls into caring for people they will likely never meet.

But those people aren’t some faceless other. They are Isaac. They are Grace. They Yuseph. They are people with hearts, souls, love, and dreams. So today, on shoe the world day, thank you for being a part of Sole Hope. Thank you for shoeing the world.

The struggle is real, the fight is intense, and the stakes are high. But between your generosity and Isaac’s resolve, I think we are in good hands. Hope is winning.