Different Walks of Life

Students in Ohio get a taste of Ugandan childhood.

For seven days recently, elementary students at Liberty Christian Academy experienced a little of what life is like in a Ugandan village. Their principal, Mrs. Jones, and their teachers had ordered the Step Into My Shoes® kit from Compassion, which includes fun ideas for learning about life in poor areas.

The 260 students, ages 3 through 12, created soccer balls out of plastic bags like lots of kids in poverty do. The students went barefoot one Friday to see what it’s like to live without the comfort and safety of shoes. They walked a mile while carrying heavy jugs of water, just like millions of children around the world who don’t have running water at home. The students built tents to learn what it might feel like to live in a tiny shelter with a family. And they made colorful masks to learn about African culture.

“We learned about a little girl in Uganda,” says Addyson Cordell, age 7, who enjoyed the Step Into My Shoes activities. “She rides her bike two hours a day just to get water from a yucky lake where animals drink. It’s called a watering hole, and her family had to boil it to get rid of the bacteria, and there’s sometimes still bacteria in it.”

Addyson’s favorite part was joining her schoolmates to collect secondhand shoes and donate them to a Christian charity that gives them to children in Africa. Addyson says it’s important to help people in need “so they can live a good life, live longer, and be happy and have hope.”