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22.11.2016 08:05
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Clarks Shoes have been making foot-friendly shoes and leading innovation since the 1800s. Founded by Cyrus Clark in the little village of Street Michael Carrick Jersey UK , Somerset, Clarks began making shoes in 1830 when Cyrus? brother James began making and selling sheepskin slippers. In the earliest years, James Clark introduced his ?Hygienic Line? of shoes, which followed the line and shape of the foot. In 1856, the company bought newly invented Singer sewing machines to produce shoes more efficiently.

Early on, Clarks made their reputation for stylish and comfortable shoes. That reputation was cemented in the years after World War II when the Clarks moved into the world markets. Nathan Clark introduced shoes modeled on the comfortable suede boots he and fellow army officers had found in the Cairo bazaars, and the Desert Boot became a global sensation. In the 1960s Memphis Depay Jersey UK , Clarks followed up the success with the Wallabee, a simple moccasin style that quickly became a classic.

Clarks has continued to make foot-friendly shoes throughout the century, and now, nearly 180 years after the founding of Clarks, the small company that started with a pair of sheepskin slippers is one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world. Last year, sales of Clarks shoes topped ?921 million. The company employs over 12,000 employees worldwide Matteo Darmian Jersey UK , and makes over 41 million pairs of shoes each years.

But none of those shoes is as important to one member of the Clark family as those that are hand-stitched in South Africa by the women of the Soul of Africa organization. In 2003, Lance Clark visited a small community in South Africa that had been ravaged by the HIVAIDS epidemic. South Africa has been hit hard by HIV, and nearly 2 million children already carry the virus. Many are already orphaned, left behind by parents who have died of HIV, and many of those orphans do not carry the virus, but live lives that have been affected by it.

While visiting South Africa in December 2003, Lance Clark met Sarah Gedye Marouane Fellaini Jersey UK , a woman who had set up an orphanage to house children that lost their parents to the AIDS epidemic. The facility was no more than a shell in the village of Durban, in need of all basic amenities, even beds and washbasins. Clark made a personal contribution, but soon realized that so much more was needed than he could do on his own.

That realization was the start of Soul of Africa, an organization that teaches young women affected by HIV a marketable skill and helps them become independent by paying them a living wage. All the shoes made by Soul of Africa are handmade from start to finish ? from the cutting of the pattern to the final hand stitching. The shoes, in several different styles, are sold throughout the UK and several other countries for ?29.99 (about $70 USD) Marcus Rashford Jersey UK , with all manufacturing profits going to support the children and families of Durban and extend the good that the orphanage can do.

To date, Soul of Africa has raised more than $1 million, all of which has been used to provide a better living environment for the children of the orphanage. Sales of Soul of Africa shoes has provided beds, linens, desks, furniture, running water Marcos Rojo Jersey UK , bathroom and kitchen facilities, crockery and other necessities of living.

There are plans to build more houses in conjunction with the orphanage, homes where they can live with foster mothers in stable families. The profits earned by the sale of Soul of Africa shoes have also built a school where the children can receive a good education and begin building for a better future.

The Soul of Africa program does not stop there. The young women who make the shoes are among the minority who hold regular full time jobs. Their earnings support themselves and their families, bringing them a sense of empowerment and pride and giving them a new lease on life.

Since its beginnings, Soul of Africa has set up a trust that has funded other projects, making it a seed of change in South Africa. In conjunction with the Rotary Clubs of South Africa, Soul of Africa is working on identifying providers of early childhood care in the villages and cities Luke Shaw Jersey UK , and working to provide them with buildings, educational equipment, fencing, toilets, food, training and assistance with health care. The Child Development Care Centers provide much needed preschool care and day care in an area where children would otherwise often be neglected because of a lack of resources.

The Soul of Africa also funds primary school scholarships for children who would not otherwise be educated, sports scholarships to assist gifted athletes and the Granny Project to give financial aid to those women in rural areas who are trying to care for children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.
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About Author:

Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics concerning fashion and shopping often highlighting certain brands such as Clarks Shoes.

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