Going barefoot for a Cause


This is a very inspiring story – especially considering the age of the person of interest.

<!– –>My barefoot challenge

By Bilaal Rajan, Friday April 24th 2009

About: Toronto-based author, fundraiser and UNICEF Canada Ambassador Bilaal Rajan is 12 years old and has raised almost $5 million for programs worldwide. During National Volunteer Week (April 19 to 25), he spent seven days without shoes to better understand what millions of underprivileged children in the Global South go through every day.

My Take: For the past few years, I have participated in the 5 km World Partnership Walk in Toronto, which raises funds to fight global poverty. It always makes me think of what children in developing countries, many of whom cannot afford shoes, must experience. As a UNICEF Canada Children’s Ambassador, I visited countries in South-East Asia and Africa and met with children who walk miles every day barefoot to fetch water, work on their farm lands, go to school, or perform other chores.

So I decided to start the Barefoot Challenge, where I would live life without shoes for a week to help raise awareness about child poverty in our world.

On Sunday, April 19, I was featured in a documentary, Yes We Can, produced by In Sync video, that premiered at the Sprockets Film Festival in Toronto, where the challenge officially kicked off. Right before the film festival, I was interviewed by the CBC. I’d like to think I was the first person to do a CBC interview without shoes!

Read the rest of this great story here.

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