Why I'm going to walk 33 kms barefoot

In nine days, I'll be waking up at dawn, wrapping warm clothes on, packing some snacks and water, and setting out to walk 33 kms without shoes.

Call me crazy, but I'm doing this to raise enough to keep a thousand kids in school.
It's an audacious goal but I'm committed. I'm not ok with just sitting back while these kids miss out on education. I'm asking for sponsorship, a dollar per barefoot km, or whatever you can afford.

Find out more and sponsor me here!

I've been living barefoot for nearly 3.5 years to raise awareness and funds for the beautiful children of Cambodia. What's that you say? Why would I do such a thing!?? Great question my friend...

I lived there for a while, and saw the rawness of poverty. In our incredible country New Zealand, we don't often think about how life would be without the ability to read and write (I know I didn't). Imagine for a second not being able to look something up on google, to read an article about health for your children, to know what the contract you're signing actually says, to read this very blog post. How do you learn anything, how do you get a better job?
We take it for granted, but the ability to read, and therefore to learn from the world, is absolutely so vital in helping people out of poverty.

I'm so passionate about this that when I moved back to New Zealand, I decided to do something wild, so that people would ask questions. I decided to live barefoot, rain and shine, summer and winter. My friends and their friends were generous. Together, we sponsored nearly a thousand school packs (uniform, books, backpack, shoes) for kids throughout rural Cambodia last year (which is ridiculously cool).

This year, those kids need to stay in school, and they need new uniforms, new books (kids grow, people!). The school year in Cambodia starts soon, and we currently sitting at just over 5 grand for this year, which will sponsor about 250 kids. So we've got another 15 grand to raise to keep all our 1000 kids in school.

I'm still living barefoot, but I'm going to up the ante, and do an even crazier thing: walk completely barefoot from Upper Hutt to Central Wellington (about 33 km).
I'm hoping to do it in 9 hours (cue nervous laughter).
You can cheer me on/watch me suffer here. Seriously, I'm gonna need the support.

Katie x


Solving The World's Problems - A Simple Solution

Six weeks ago, I packed as much as I could into my car, and made the 11 hour drive from my summer spot to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.

One of the coolest things about moving to Wellington is meeting all these incredible people  who are passionate about leaving the world in better shape than they found it.

 I LOVE hearing about the incredibly diverse things they are passionate about. LOVE it.

There is little apathy in these people. They are fired up and eager to hear about the issues that the world is facing. But even more important, I think they are actually ready to change their lifestyles to do something about their beliefs.

It is so inspiring to be around these people. I intend to keep them close.

My contribution, Shoeless, seems so small in the scheme of things. However, I keep coming back to this idea that I have, a little idea that keeps me going. My idea is nothing new, it's simply this:

Because the problems facing us are so diverse and incredibly complex, (eg. trafficking, inequality, poverty, corruption, injustice, environment etc... need I say more),  it follows that we need a diverse and complex approach to solving the problems.

Sound obvious? Yeah, I think it is.
However, this complexity catches so many of us out, and leaves us eyes crossed, heads spinning at the thought of tackling these massive problems. So then we do nothing. That is simply not ok. There is a better way! No one person could or should attempt to do everything themselves.

Here's what I see: We need all types.

Some people berate me for what I'm doing; for 'just' helping kids get to school. I can keep talking to them till I'm blue in the face, trying to convince them of the worth of education in cracking this poverty thing wide open. Because it is worthwhile. Or, I can smile and say, "Yes, you're right. We don't just need education, we also need sanitation, and medical attention, and income prospects for parents." (And a million other things).

But the thing is, right now, I'm doing this one thing. I have other passions too: the justice system, people with disabilities, trafficking rehabilitation, refugees.

I can only focus on one thing at a time, and today, it's education.

Here's my challenge to you: do your one thing and own it. The world needs you. We need you.

That is my (sort of) simple solution to the world's heartaches. Together we win.

What's your one thing? Tell me in the comments - I'd love to hear about your passion.


What Tomorrow Holds


Tomorrow, I'm going to drive to Auckland at 5am to sit in a studio and talk live on national TV about going barefoot and about poverty, and I'm going to ask the people of Aotearoa to join me in kicking off their shoes for a day.

Tomorrow, 1,912 children across the nation will go to school without shoes, so that their fellow kids in Cambodia can get the shoes, uniforms, and books they need for school.

Tomorrow, cafes will donate to Shoeless.

Tomorrow, all my planning and organising for the last year will come to fruition.

Tomorrow, we will hold the first ever Shoeless Day in New Zealand.

Sign up here: www.shoelessday.com