He has first-hand experience of going to school barefoot so he knows how painful and embarrassing that can be to a young child.
Now founder of Kasi Angels Foundation, Gerald Nomlala, has made it his mission to find shoes for thousands of pupils from poor families across the country.
Speaking to Vukani after various handovers during August , during which Mr Nomlala, in association Bata South Africa, distributed more than 2 000 shoes to children in places such as Mbekweni in Paarl, Mitchell’s Plain, Mandalay and Khayelitsha, Mr Nomlala said his organisation wanted to give children dignity.
“I know what it is like not to have a pair of shoes. I spent four years of my life as a kid without shoes,” he said. Last year they distributed about 800 pairs of shoes to the victims of the Knysna fires and immediately embarked on an ambitious drive to collect 9 000 pairs of shoes this year.
His efforts paid off when the shoe manufacturing company heard about his project.
“We have given more than 4 300 pairs to poor communities this year and to kids who don’t have shoes. As part of their Mandela Day celebrations Bata decided to work with Kasi Angels,” said Mr Nomlala.
Sharon Orange, the principal of AZ Berman Primary in Mitchell’s Plain thanked Bata and Kasi Angels for helping them.
“We bought needy children tracksuits and school shirts and we were going to buy shoes and socks, but now they are doing this initiative for us. This will be a very great help, as we are a no-fees school,” said Ms Orange.
Mr Nomlala urged township businesses to support his initiative so that more shoes could be bought.
To help Kasi Angels, send an email to KasiAngels@gmail.com