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917 children benefit from specially made footwear

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Children with clubfoot will have new-found freedom to walk thanks to the support of Zambeef subsidiary Zamleather, which has donated K92,000 worth of leather to make foot braces. Zambia’s largest operating tannery and shoe producer has partnered with non-profit organisation Zambia Association of Children with Disabilities (ZACD).

ZACD provides mobility aids to physically disabled children, particularly those with cerebral palsy and club foot. The donated leather will go towards making special foot abduction braces for children with suffering with clubfoot. Zamleather’s General Manager Richard Franklin said the company was proud to be associated with project to help children suffering with these debilitating conditions, and noted it was in line with company’s ethos to positively impact the communities that it operates in. “It is an honour to support the cause of Zambia Association of Children with Disabilities on this project. Ours was a small role to play in bringing out a sense of normalcy for children affected with clubfoot. Zamleather strives to make practical and lasting impact in the community and this is one of the ways that we are showing up. We have donated 4,048 pieces of leather over the course of the last year towards this cause and are proud to note that the team at Beit Cure and ZACD have manufactured 917 pairs of shoes for affected children.” said Mr Franklin.

Clubfoot can be treated and corrected ideally from infancy using the Ponseti method, a phased approach that includes manipulation, casting and fially bracing in foot abduction braces to maintain the corrected position and prevent relapse of the deformity.  To date, ZACD has recorded that 917 children have benefitted from the donations and specially made footwear to help them reverse the condition and walk better. ZACD Programme director Geoffrey Mwale thanked Zamleather for the gesture and hoped the goodwill shown by the company would continue.

“We are thankful to Zamleather for coming through and assisting us on this project. This was no easy endeavour and we would like to thank them for the generous donation over the past year. We hope this cooperation will continue so that we can reach more children. Globally, about 175,000 children are born with clubfoot each year. These children often face a lifetime of disability, pain, stigma, exclusion, rejection, limited opportunities and loss of hope. It is our sincerest wish to give these children a chance at a better and more productive life by offering treatment through our cooperating partners Beit Cure Hospital and well-meaning corporates like Zamleather.” said Mr Mwale.

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