The Humpty Dumpty Institute

The Humpty Dumpty Institute

February 18, 2016 08:00 ET

The Humpty Dumpty Institute Distributes Over 180,000 Pairs of TOMS Shoes to School Children in Vietnam

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--(Marketwired - Feb. 18, 2016) -

Editors Note: There are three photos associated with this press release.

The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), along with its local Vietnamese partner, Project RENEW, is pleased to announce that it has distributed over 180,000 pairs of new TOMS shoes to children in 260 schools across Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam. The Humpty Dumpty Institute receives the shoes from the American company TOMS, a for-profit company that pioneered the One for One® business model, through which TOMS gives one pair of new shoes to a child in need for every pair that TOMS sells.

Ralph L. Cwerman, President and CEO of the Humpty Dumpty Institute said that "our relationship with TOMS shoes began in 2012 as part of a Mine Risk Education (MRE) program carried out by HDI's local Vietnamese partner, Project RENEW. Under the program, mostly indigent school children aged 5 to 17 living in areas contaminated by unexploded bombs and land mines bombs receive a gift of pair of shoes (for many children this represents their first pair of shoes) as a way to raise awareness among these children about the dangers of landmine accidents and encourages them to report any landmine discoveries for timely, safe removal and destruction. This is carried out through the dissemination of safety messages at each shoe distribution event. The shoes also protect the children from cuts, infections, and disease as well as stimulate their self-confidence."

HDI Chairman Dr. Al Khalafalla added "Because most of these children participate in their families' farming activities, the boys and girls are very vulnerable to UXO accidents. HDI uses the shoe distribution events as a unique opportunity to increase awareness of the dangers of UXO, which pose a lingering threat to the people of Quang Tri Province even though the war ended more than 40 years ago. Our goal is for no children to be victims of UXO accidents in the project areas within one year of the shoe distribution." Integrated into the formal Mine Risk Education program, the shoe distribution is not a one-time effort. With the support of TOMS, HDI also distributes replacement shoes every six to nine months so that, as the children's feet grow, they will receive new larger sized shoes. To date roughly 22,000 students are on their third pair, 33,000 students have received a second pair, and 49,000 have received a pair of TOMS shoes for the first time.

Nguyen Van Lu, Trieu Phuoc School Deputy Headmaster in Trieu Phong district said "The Trieu Phuoc commune is one of the localities where local residents eke out a living mostly from agriculture which has a high contamination of leftover bombs and mines from the war. Giving shoes in combination with mine risk education is an excellent way to keep children safe from UXO threats. We would like to express our deepest thanks and we look forward to continuing this important support in the future."

Le Thi Ha Thuong, a fourth grader from Trieu Phuoc said "It was a memorable day for me and many other schoolmates to take part in the Safety Day event organized by HDI and Project RENEW. We are equipped with wide range of knowledge, such as how to be safe from the threat of UXOs and how to report UXO discoveries to demining teams for safe removal. With the new pairs of shoes provided, I feel so safe and confident when playing with friends and going out with my family. They also protect me from stepping onto sharp, pointed objects such as broken pieces of glass or nails. They are very soft and I can wear them either for indoor and outdoor activities."

Ralph Cwerman added "We are very pleased that distributing shoes as part of our Mine Risk Education efforts is assisting communities to prevent landmine accidents. Quang Tri Province was the most heavily bombed area of Vietnam during the war, and nearly a third of landmine accident victims are children. It turns out that distributing shoes along with providing mine risk education messages is an exceptionally effective way to reinforce to children the dangers of unexploded ordnance. Our next distribution will take place in the spring of 2016 and will take us well over 200,000 pairs of shoes distributed."

The Humpty Dumpty Institute ("Humpty Dumpty") is a unique non-profit organization dedicated to tackling difficult global and domestic issues by establishing innovative and strategic public/private partnerships that provide sensible solutions to serious problems. Humpty Dumpty's partners include the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, various countries, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, celebrities, other leaders, and a host of other NGOs.

Based on a philosophy of providing long-term sustainable and holistic solutions, Humpty Dumpty's programs focus on overcoming humanitarian and development challenges. Humpty Dumpty's past programs have removed landmines and unexploded bombs, provided food to the hungry, delivered health care efficiently to the sick and impoverished, provided literacy and education to women and girls, improved animal conservation efforts and expanded public and cultural diplomacy.

Humpty Dumpty's newest initiative seeks to improve child nutrition in the United States and elsewhere through "Breakfast at School," a program that provides free breakfast to school children in partnership with various state governments. Learn more by visiting:

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