More than R1 million has been raised for disadvantaged children across South Africa via the Health Care Workers 4 Palestine and the Gift of the Givers Foundation Soles of our Souls school shoes drive.
On Saturday, the two organisations held vigils in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Gqeberha in remembrance of more than 10 000 children killed in Palestine since renewed violence started in October 2023.
At the Sea Point Promenade, thousands of pairs of shoes were displayed as a visual representation of the numbers of innocent children killed by Israel.
Nazreena Hassim, committee member of HCW4P SA and a medical volunteer for Gift of the Givers said: “We pay tribute to their precious lives, symbolically and practically, through giving shoes to the needy school children in South Africa.
“This gives dignity to children when they go to school, contributing to a ripple of positive change in our communities.”
“We also remember the children who remain in Palestine, many of whom are injured or orphaned and traumatised and who lack access to water, food, shelter, healthcare and education. We want for Palestine’s children the same that we wish for our children.”
Gift of the Givers Project Manager, Ali Sablay, says the shoes will be delivered soon.
He says at the beginning of each year, they receive requests for help from school principals, especially in rural areas.
He explains: “In some of these areas, a child will not even have a pair of school shoes throughout their schooling career and what is sad in our engagements is that the learners at time don’t even know their shoe size because they never owned a pair of shoes, so this initiative will benefit more than 11 000 children around SA in the poorest parts of the country.”