By Caroline Hallé, Mon Quotidien, France

We should have thought about it before. A US-based company has designed sandals that will grow alongside children’s feet. They are called The Shoe That Grows. As simple as that.These sandals relieve poor families, especially from African countries, from the burden of buying new shoes often. “I had this idea ten years ago, while working in an orphanage in Kenya. One day I saw a little girl, walking on a very dirty road, with shoes so small that they were ripped open, revealing her toes. I then came up with this idea of creating a shoe that can adjust to a child’s feet,” inventor Kenton Lee said.

“Children going barefoot or wearing ill-fitting footwear are susceptible to fall, get injuries or soil-transmitted diseases. Some of them are not even allowed to go to school as they have to wear a uniform with proper shoes. It is also incredible to see how children become more confident wearing nice shoes,” he said.

“It took us six years to design The Shoe That Grows. Our sandals are made of a compressed rubber sole and tough synthetic leather straps at the top. They can grow up to five sizes, to last for years. We have two models : one for children aged four to eight and the other for those aged eight to 12,” Lee added. “Thanks to donors worldwide, we have already distributed more than 140,000 pairs to children in 97 countries. Each pair cost 12 euros.”

This article was written for Impact Journalism Day 2018, a collaborative programme initiated by Sparknews gathering over 50 prestigious media outlets worldwide whose combined readership reach out to 100 million readers. On Impact Journalism Day (16 June), these outlets published stories about innovative solutions that help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Discover all Impact Journalism Day stories at