*Regular readers: If you read nothing else of this article, please read the last two paragraphs. Thanks!
Any of you who know me well can attest to the fact that I love shoes. I may go barefoot a lot, but I love me a good pair of shoes. I look for feminine, comfy, and just a hint of sass in my footwear.
I don’t even know where I ran across the Sseko Designs website, but I was instantly hooked. (And that was before I even perused the purty footwear!) Sseko offers work to Ugandan women who have completed secondary school and are waiting to start University. It’s often hard for these bright young women to find fair work in the current Ugandan society. Most of the money they earn at Sseko goes toward funding their further education. Sseko builds relationships with their girls and invests in their lives. They love to tell their stories, laugh with them, and encourage them. And they want these girls to get their education and then come help run the company.
I spent a lot of nap times reading the website and learning all about this not-just-for-profit business model. And then I spent a few months saving my pennies and dropping hints about these sandals to Andrew every chance I got. I was finally able to get my own pair a few weeks ago and I LOVE them. They are super comfy, sort of like going around barefoot. Or maybe like wearing flip-flops. But they feel more secure than flip-flops because I tie them on. And for a klutz like me (I DO have a history with falling down in floppy shoes), that extra security is important.
Not only that, but the straps are inter-changeable. And if you’re reading this from anywhere in the Bible Belt, you understand that we Southern women like our flip-flops to have interchangeable… thingies. I have no idea why. I just know it’s a big hit. Anyway, I bought the brown straps. And then I took down my bedroom curtains and made me some stripey green straps.
Of course, you don’t have to sew your own straps. Sseko sells several cute designs of strap, all made from fabrics found at market in Uganda. But I’m just sayin’, if you’ve got a fabric you love, even I was capable of making my own straps.
There’s all sorts of different ways to tie Ssekos, including one for those of you who fear cankles or drawing attention to your skinny legs. (Both objections I have heard raised.) Right now I’m loving the Classic, but I am trying to be open to change.
If you are a local reader, we’ll be at the Mt. Laurel spring festival this weekend selling HopeSuds. We’ll also be selling these sandals. Sseko will donate $5 for every pair that gets sold to our adoption fund. And if you’re not local but feel that your life would not be complete without a pair of African sandals with interchangeable straps, make sure you tell them on the website who sent ya, okay?
I know you people must think that all I do these days is talk about raising money. Please understand that several opportunities landed in our lap at the same time. We’re so pleased so many of you come to this little corner of the internet to read about us and we want to take very good care of the trust you place in us.
We want to give glory to the One who is providing for us in ways we could have never imagined. He is Good. And, obviously, He’s got a sense of humor. Not many people make their financial plans based on laundry detergent and strappy sandals. But here at Vitafam, with your help and by God’s grace, WE DO.
Awkward Disclosure Part: Nobody sent me anything free to review these. These are my own thoughts and opinions. Sseko will generously donate 5 dollars toward our adoption for every pair that people buy and mention our name, but the opinions I have of these sandals would be the same, regardless. My love for these shoes is unconditional and unfettered.