By gathering old or unwanted shoes as part of our unique ShoeShare initiative, we’ve been able to support UNICEF as they strive to transform the lives of children everywhere.01/04/2021
Since 2008, our innovative donation programme has raised more than £1.6 million, money that has helped UNICEF as they work to ensure that every child around the world receives a quality education.
We haven’t stopped there either. In 2017, we started working in partnership with Unicef's Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA), which puts children's rights at the heart of education in the UK. By working closely with schools, the RRSA programme aims to create safe and inspiring places to learn, places where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they’re able to thrive.
The RRSA embeds these values into daily school life, giving children the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and grow up to be responsible, active citizens.
In 2017, we were able to help 33 disadvantaged schools work towards the RRSA. In 2018 the figure rose to 35, and in 2019 we supported 51 schools as they worked towards the RRSA, and in 2020 we were able to raise £70,000 despite store closures in the UK due to Covid 19 restrictions. In addition Clarks donated £20,000 to support the Coronavirus appeal.
One of the many projects our scheme has helped fund is the build of sustainable classrooms for children in Africa. Due to inadequate educational facilities, 1.6 million children in Côte d'Ivoire alone do not go to school. That number is gradually decreasing thanks to the work of UNICEF, and the partners who, like us, support them.
Ten-year-old Ange Emmanuel lives in Sanguine, in the West of Côte d’Ivoire. He is one of the many children who can now attend school thanks to the new sustainable classrooms made from recycled plastic bottles.
“Before, there was a lot of dust in the class, and the blackboard was so grey we could hardly read what was written on it,” he says. "When it rained, we all got wet. Animals came at night to sleep in our class. Now, with the new classrooms, everything is so clean. We have a nice big blackboard, and there’s even electricity and light! It feels very comfortable now, and I like coming to school.”
1,300 children like Ange Emanuel now have access to better learning spaces in an environmentally-friendly school. ShoeShare, therefore, has the dual benefit of supporting children across the world as well as diverting shoes away from landfill.
Since launching this partnership, over 500 schools have also held ShoeShare collections, further helping Unicef in their amazing work - both in the UK and abroad.
Do you have old shoes that you would like to donate to Clarks ShoeShare? You can join us in helping UNICEF to reach even more kids in danger by donating your old or unwanted shoes at one of 500 Clarks stores around the UK.
Find out what else we’re doing to reduce our impact below.
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