Making shoes for Sanga Nursery, Kenya

Last year, our Remuera teaching team began an investigation based on sustaining an ecological future. We talked to the children about waste and discussed ways to re-purpose materials. The children then decided that they would like to make their own shoes using repurposed objects.

As the group learned about what could be recycled and used again, there was lots of excitement and discussion about the possibilities. The group collected materials at home and within the centre to make their shoes. A hands on art project had begun!

Shoes That Give Back:

To share their new found knowledge around re-purposing, the children shared news of the shoe project with their friends at another Bear Park centre. They also decided they’d like to share the investigation with pupils at Sanga Nursery School in Kenya. Letters were written, accompanied with drawings and details of their project. It was then that teachers at Sanga Nursery wrote a letter to tell us how many of the children there could not afford shoes and the ones that they did have were made from old tyres. Our group decided that they would like to make shoes for their friends in Africa. As teachers, it was lovely to see the group show empathy for children on the other side of the world. They had made connections that repurposing was valuable, and that something good could come from it.

Realising there wasn’t enough recycled materials to make shoes for everyone, the children came up with the idea of reaching out to the community to ask for help. Letters were written asking shops and businesses in the community for help in collecting carpet, rubber and leather. The children also requested help from a shoe cobbler. That way, every shoe was sturdy and would be comfortable to wear.

Now, we’re preparing to send the shoes over to Sanga Nursery School and the children are excited to hear from their Kenyan friends.

We’ve had lots of positive feedback as a result of this project. Not to mention kind donations of materials for us to use. By involving our wider community and repurposing materials, the children felt empowered. They discovered that small actions can create positive change in the environment and the lives of others.

– Emma, Bear Park Remuera teacher

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