In 2007, Kenton Lee traveled to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating college where he lived and worked at a small orphanage. During his work in Kenya, he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him. As he looked down at her feet, he was shocked to see how small her shoes were. They were so small that she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. He found himself asking …
“What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand its size?
What if there was a shoe that could grow?”
And the idea for The Shoe That Grows™ was born.
It sounds like a very simple idea, but for children and families living in poverty this concept can be a life-changing concept. According to the UN, 783 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. Basic necessities that we may take for granted can be life changing to these individuals and families. One example is footwear. As young people rapidly grow out of their shoes, an adaptable piece of footwear can help keep a child safe and comfortable for years.
After six years of development, the idea became a reality and is now making a big difference by helping thousands of children across the world.
Because International was started in 2009 with the purpose of listening to those living in extreme poverty to hear their thoughts and ideas for how to make their daily lives better, and then help turn those ideas into a reality. It’s a concept they call “Practical Compassion.” The Shoe That Grows is their first project.
Complete and currently in distribution, The Shoe that Grows is a shoe that can adjust and expand 5 sizes and last up to 5 years. So far, The Shoe That Grows has helped thousands of children in 20 different countries have long-lasting shoes that protect their feet.
In 2017, the Murdock Trust awarded a grant of $117,000 to Because International. The grant is helping the nonprofit expand its capacity and serve a broader range of children and families by helping expand business and development staff. These important positions play a critical role in helping a nonprofit sustain and grow its reach in sustainable ways.
We are excited to see the impact Because will have as they continue to listen to and develop products that will help those living in extreme poverty around the world.