21 August 2019 | Story Zama Feni | Photo Zama Feni
Shoes project
University of the Free State Biokinetics student, Maralé Hoft, with pairs of tackies they have collected so far for the needy kids of Eersteling Primary School. More donations are still needed.

She could not bear the sight of little children coming to school barefoot. So, a University of the Free State Biokinetics student went on a campaign to help find tackies for the children.

Touched by the sight of barefoot kids
Maralé Hoft encountered this situation when she and her colleagues went to the Eersteling Primary School to present sports-based physical activity programmes at the school as part of their curriculum programmes.

The school, which is located on the outskirts of Bloemfontein, about 10 kilometres from town in the Kellysview area, caters for children from Grade R (pre-school) to Grade 4, which are “obviously very young.”

“It became worse when we had to do some sports activities with them having no shoes on – I felt like I had to do something to help them,” she said.

More tackies still needed

Hoft says she has a target of about 100 children, but “we have so far only managed to get about 50 pairs of second-hand tackies.” 

“I would like to ask anyone who can contribute a pair of tackies for this age group to please do so, so that we could help the less privileged. Their shoe sizes range from size 10 (kids) to size 5 (regular),” she said.

Dr Monique de Milander, Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, says: “All help will be most appreciated, as it would be ideal to have enough pairs to give every child a pair. We are worried that if we don’t have enough, we cannot give it to them, as it would not be fair if only a handful of children get a pair and the rest don’t.” 

Interested donors can contact Maralé Hoft at maralehoft@gmail.com

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