While living and working in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, Kenton Lee had an idea to develop a shoe that expands after seeing children running around barefoot and in shoes several sizes too small. This thought lead to the development of The Shoe That Grows - an innovation of Lee's philanthropic organisation _Because International. _Lee then approached several big shoe companies in the US to support his idea but none of them were interested. Over the years, The Shoe That Grows has progressed from being an initiative that served about 140 HIV/Aids orphans in Nairobi to being an initiative which is trying to reach as many needy children as possible.
It was just an experience I had after college here in the states. I wanted to travel for a while and found myself in Nairobi, Kenya. I was living and working in an orphanage. Just one day I was walking next to a little girl in a white dress, I looked down and noticed her shoes were so small. She actually cut open the front of her shoe to let her toes stick out. I looked around and a lot of kids had shoes that did not fit.I found out that there were donated shoes and they haven’t received donation in a while, they had no money to buy new shoes. Right there I just thought wouldn’t it be nice to have a shoe that expands for the kids… finally I decided to do something about it and here we are five years later
This shoe adjusts to five sizes and lasts five years. Kenton and his partners are currently working on raising money for the next order of 5000 pairs.
This article first appeared on 702 : Ideas that move the world: the shoe that grows