Leprosy caused multiple sores at the extremities that can end in deformities of the feet if the wounds are not properly cared for. With the lack of sensation caused by leprosy, the lepers can agravate the wounds and enable secondary infections to ravage their bodies, leading to further deformities. Protecting the feet is of high importance; the lepers desperately need shoes. In many poor countries, used shoes donated by others are common. Yet in the case of the lepers, the used shoes are not usable; the feet of the lepers are often too deformed to wear regular shoes. They need shoes that are made particularly for them.

Our sponsored shoe manufacturer

As poor as they are, the lepers can never afford to get shoes made for them. Furthermore, even if they can afford to pay, no regular cobbler wants to touch the lepers to measure and make shoes for them. Many lepers walk with barefeet, exposing their sores, risking rapid deformities of their feet. Their lives are doomed.

Recognizing the dire needs for custom shoes, the Damien the Leper Society had sponsored a small shoes manufacturer. The society pays for their equipment, helps them design shoes that not only fit their feet but also are durable enough for people whose sole mode of transportation is walking. The society also recruits people who are willing to travel to remote locations to measure the lepers’ feet for their shoes.

Molding for the exact fit

These special shoemakers often travel with our society representatives to the location. Our society representatives will identify the lepers that need shoes and the shoemakers go to work. After our medical personnel clean and treated the wounds, the shoemakers expertly wrap the feet with plaster tapes to make a mold for each foot. Once the molds harden, the shoemaker carefully remove the molds and bring them back to the factory.

Making the shoes

At the factory the shoemakers will then put the cut out pieces of the mold back together. They then pour plaster into the mold and make exact replicas of the feet. The identification information is then written on each replica. Using the replica, the shoemakers will then make shoes that exactly fit the replicas. On subsequent trips to the locations, these shoes will be delivered to the lepers, who will treasure them.

How you can help

In addition to paying for the construction of the factory, our society has to pay the shoemakers for each shoe made. While the cost for each shoe is reasonable at approximately $5 a pair. Making shoes for hundreds of lepers each year requires substantial funding each year. If you wish to help us in this endeavour, you can make your donation and target your donation toward this effort. We will set aside your donation for making shoes for the lepers.

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