I am happy to say that the 2009 Barefoot Challenge is underway! The campaign kicked off Sunday at the premiere of Yes We Can!, a documentary about my work and activism that was featured at the Sprockets Film Festival in Toronto.
I’m going barefoot during International Volunteer Week (April 19–25) to raise awareness of underprivileged children around the world, many who cannot afford shoes. Within the first few hours, I quickly realized how different life was without having soles under your feet!
For starters, they become incredibly dirty outdoors, and there are hazards at almost every step. I almost walked on a nail today, and the predicted colder weather this week is likely to keep my toes on the chilly side.
Also, doing the kinds of things that kids enjoy take on a whole new meaning. Playing sports without shoes can be pretty tough, let alone more difficult. Try holding your balance while returning an opponent’s forehand barefoot on a tennis court!
Last week I said I couldn’t imagine what it was like to live life without shoes. Well, now I can, and it’s only been a day! Just think that millions of children around the world go without shoes for years on end.
It’s a big challenge, but that’s what makes it so much fun. There has been an incredible response from people throughout the world. Students from schools everywhere are taking part, and the media response has been overwhelming. I have planned interviews with television networks, radio stations or newspapers in the United States, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, India, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore, and the list is sure to grow in the coming weeks.
Throughout the next five days, I’ll be trying something else new: I’ll be posting to my blog twice a day to provide you with the full barefoot experience.
But don’t let me take away something that you can experience for yourself. I’m urging everyone of you to spend just one hour bare feet any day this week. Even better, you can spend a half or even a full day bare feet at work, at school or at home.
Think you’re up to the challenge? Think it’s going to be easy? I dare you to go barefeet. So what are you waiting for? What I can guarantee you is that it will be an experience you’ll never forget. Click here to go the main page and sign up now!
Go bare feet with me and make change – one step at a time. Talk to you soon!
“Together We Can Make A Difference”