Walk barefoot and help

Manny Ohonme speaking on Samaritan's Feet

Manny Ohonme speaking on Samaritan’s Feet. Photo by Hunter Bryn

WCU students can walk barefoot today and the administration will do the same.

Every Thursday in the month of September from 1 to 5 p.m. walk shoe-less to raise awareness that 1.5 billion people walk without shoes every day.

With this the campus starts its two-year university wide theme “Africa! More than a continent.”

Western Carolina University kicked off the theme  with a visit from the CEO and founder of Samaritan’s Feet, Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Ohonme, who is also a partner organization in the campaign.

Samaritan’s Feet is a non-profit organization that Ohonme created to wash the feet of children and provide shoes to them while teaching the virtue of humility to all.

“Over 300 million kids are waking up every day without shoes in Africa. That’s almost the entire population of the United States,” Ohonme says.

Ohonme spoke on the development and success of his organization and how he hopes that students here at Western Carolina can help him spread the awareness and raise ten-thousand shoes for kids. The organization has served over 6.5 million kids in twelve years in over eighty countries.

Director of Center for Service Learning, Lane Perry hosted the event and spoke on how partnering with Samaritan’s Feet would not only help forward the theme at Western but help students get involved in becoming servant leaders.

Envelopes with stickers were given to attendees, to give out on every Thursday of September as they walk barefoot on campus. This movement brings awareness to children, both nation and world wide, who are not fortunate enough to own a pair of shoes.

“It’s not how you begin, it’s how you end,” Ohonme says adding that he believes that the students at Western Carolina University can bring forth change by taking one step and looks forward to our partnership in the next two years.