On 5 April 2011, AGYA Co-Founders Abraham Matovu and Divinity Barkley Matovu participated in "One Day Without Shoes," the global awareness-raising event hosted by TOMS Shoes, a for-profit company that uses an innovative one-to-one business model. For every shoe TOMS sells, the company gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need. One Day Without Shoes challenges TOMS customers to take off their shoes for a day in order to raise awareness about kids all over the world who cannot afford shoes.
Divinity and Abraham decided to participate in the event after learning about it from former AGYA volunteer, Joey Borgogna, a TOMS customer.
Above: Divinity and Abraham with Joey shoeless on 5 April 2011.
AGYA Executive Director, Divinity Barkley Matovu said: "As people who work in a country where many kids cannot afford shoes, participating in this event really meant a lot to Abraham and I. We have witnessed some of the youth we work with get sent home from school because they did not have on proper shoes. We have seen kids walking through muddy, unpaved roads during Uganda's rainy season with no shoes or wearing flip flops that are not proper for the weather conditions. One Day Without Shoes is a fantastic initiative and we are so honored to be a part of this."
After spending the day without shoes, Divinity and Abraham attended a special celebration in Santa Monica, California where they had the chance to meet TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, Blake Mycoskie (see photo below).
Blake was also recently featured as ABC News "Person of the Week" where he explained the TOMS philosophy and the concept behind One Day Without Shoes. Check out the footage here: