Giving Tuesday is a day where everyone, everywhere can do something to support the good causes that mean so much to them.
It is a truly global event and is celebrated on the Tuesday following the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For Giving Tuesday 2023, Lepra is shining the spotlight on our footwear technicians, the need for specialist podiatric care and the vital importance of customised footwear for people affected by leprosy. So this year we’ve decided to turn Giving Tuesday into Giving Shoesday!
One of the main symptoms of leprosy is nerve damage, meaning people affected are unable to feel pain. This leaves them vulnerable to burns, cuts, ulcers and injuries that can potentially lead to severe damage to fingers, toes, hands and feet resulting in permanent disability. Lymphatic filariasis can cause severe swelling in the feet and legs, making it difficult to wear standard shoes.
We provide protective, tailor-made footwear to help people to walk comfortably and without fear of possible injury. Our customised shoes restore a sense of independence to people affected by leprosy or lymphatic filariasis, enabling them to return to their communities and work for a living. It costs just £6 to make a pair of shoes which can truly change a life.
Leprosy footwear production and podiatric care require specialist knowledge and skills. Training opportunities in this area are very scarce, particularly so in the remote rural locations in which the majority of our referral centres are located.
There is a current shortage of qualified leprosy technicians; out of our 19 referral centres, 10 do not have regular shoe technicians or ulcer dressers.
Our shoe technicians travelled approximately 24,000 miles last year, reaching isolated and remote communities where access to medical treatment and protective footwear is near impossible. We provided over 25,000 pairs of customised shoes in 2022, enabling people affected by leprosy to walk without fear of damage or infection. Your support this Giving Shoesday could help us train more qualified shoe technicians and reach even more people.
Launching on Giving Tuesday, and with support from wonderful and committed donors who have pledged donations to our matched funding pot, we are once again running our ‘£1 from you, we get two’ appeal!
From Tuesday 28 November 2023 through to midnight on 31 March 2024, we can match the first £21,000 donated to Lepra. Donations can be given to Lepra in person, over the telephone, online, by cheque, or postal order.