About two million people in Southeast Asia have footproblems, which makes it difficult for them to walk. To do something about this, Netherlands Leprosy relief (NLR) and the Liliane Fund started the project These shoes are made for walking.
In the next three years, young people from various Southeast Asian countries will join a new – internationally recognized – training programme in Hanoi, Vietnam. They will be trained to become orthopaedic shoemakers.
After their graduation, the students will be working in their own countries. NLR and the Liliane Fund will use their existing network to get them started. By working together with existing orthopaedic and rehabilitation centers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, they will make a start with building a network of workplaces throughout Southeast Asia.
The aim is to make orthopaedic means accessible for people who need these for proper walking. Examples are children with spasticity, clubfeet or polio and people who are affected by leprosy or diabetes. The availability of special shoes could also serve as a solution for people who became crippled as a consequence of traffic accidents, conflicts and natural disasters.