The Shoe Factory

The Shoe Factory

The Heart and Sole Shoe project is our newest income generation program. The project began in June of 2017 through funding from our partner, GlobeMed at Amherst College. Ten participating podoconiosis patients are currently undergoing a three-month training program through which they will gain the skills to make and repair shoes. Upon completion of the training program, trainees will have the option to either remain with the program as an employee or take their newly gained shoe-making skills elsewhere. The retained employees of the project will produce shoes to be sold on the market, which will enable the project to eventually become economically self-sufficient. This project comes at a time during which the Rwandan government is implementing the prohibition of secondhand clothing and shoes and transitioning to a market based on products made in Rwanda. In order to increase the size of the project, one of the employees will eventually be promoted to shoe-making instructor for the training of future students. Another key component of this project is that it will provide shoes specially designed for podoconiosis patients at an affordable price. In this way, we hope to be able to prevent further exacerbation of currently existing cases of podoconiosis.