Refugee Kids in Lebanon and Gaza Get TOMS Shoes

April 29, 2014 ANERA
Early Childhood Development, Emergency Response, Gaza, Health, Humanitarian Relief, In-Kind Medical and Relief, Lebanon, Palestinian Refugee Camps
Three Palestinian girls in Gaza show off their new TOMS shoes. Their families were evacuated when their homes were flooded during the 2013 December torrential rains. Three Palestinian girls in Gaza show off their new TOMS shoes. Their families were evacuated when their homes were flooded during the 2013 December torrential rains.

This is the third year that ANERA has distributed new TOMS Shoes to thousands of refugee children in Gaza, but this time was even more special. ANERA was able to incorporate the delivery into this year’s de-worming program as a way to help protect children from soil-transmitted parasites.

ANERA has delivered TOMS Shoes and boots to thousands of refugee children in Gaza and Lebanon.

In Al Mosadar village, one mother stressed how important the shoes are to protecting her children against parasites, a preventive measure she learned during one of ANERA’s parasite awareness sessions.

Gaza preschooler shows his new TOMS Shoes that will help protect him from soil-based parasites.

ANERA distributed TOMS Shoes as part of its health campaign against parasites, which are often contracted through bare feet.

“After getting all the information about parasite infections, I was concerned about my children walking around outside barefoot or in torn sandals.” She says keeping her children’s feet clean and dry is essential. “What I like about the TOMS Shoes is I can protect my child’s feet from parasites and they love wearing them,” adds Iman.

The shoes were also distributed in the impoverished Bedouin village of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, where poverty is rampant and the price of a good pair of shoes is beyond the reach of most families.

Father and son are one of many who received ANERA's delivery of TOMS Shoes to flood victims in Gaza.

Loay, a Gaza flood victim, gets new TOMS Shoes.

Preschool youngsters there were excited to show off their new shoes and gathered in the school’s playground.

“I love my shoes because they’re new and sturdy,” shouted Anas Darweesh. “They’re comfy and clean,” smiled Ayman Abu Ghazele before running off to play.

ANERA also distributed TOMS Shoes to children affected by the December 2013 torrential rains and flooding in Gaza City. Loay El-Jadbah and his father were among the flood victims who, like thousands of others, were displaced from their home.

Loay and his family took shelter in a nearby school and spent the night with no food, clothes, blankets or shoes. All of their belongings were destroyed. “It has taken us time to get over the disaster and gather clothes and shoes for the family,” Loay’s father explained. So, the delivery of TOMS Shoes to Loay’s school was a most welcome gift. Loay insists he will never take them off.

Winter Boots for Refugee Children in Lebanon 

This was the second year that ANERA has delivered TOMS Shoes In Lebanon, but it was the first delivery of sturdy, rubber-soled winter boots.

For the children at Al Inaash preschool in Wavel camp, it was a welcome surprise.

Kids in Lebanon's Wavel camp get new TOMS boots to keep their feet warm and dry in winter.

Kids in Lebanon’s Wavel camp get new TOMS boots to keep their feet warm and dry in winter.

Wavel is located high up in the mountains near Baalbeck and considered one of the coldest areas in Lebanon where winter is characterized by heavy rain and snow. “I can run fast with my new shoes and my feet stay warm and dry,” exclaimed one of the preschoolers.

Palestinian girl shows her new pair of TOMS boots that were delivered to preschoolers in Lebanon's refugee camps.

Palestinian preschooler shows off her new TOMS boots

Teachers at nearly 70 UNRWA preschools in Lebanon’s Wavel and Nahr El Bared refugee camps where the boots were delivered expressed their thanks and explained that many children were coming to school without proper shoes or winter clothes. So many Palestinian refugees who fled the fighting in Syria arrived in Lebanon with little more than the clothes and shoes they were wearing.

They were unprepared for the cold, damp winter they had to endure in substandard makeshift shelters in Lebanon’s refugee camps. ANERA’s delivery of warm TOMS boots to thousands of children in the camps was a most welcome relief.



3 Responses to “Refugee Kids in Lebanon and Gaza Get TOMS Shoes”

  1. May 01, 2014 at 3:28 pm, Sharifa said:


    This is fantastic to see you helping the children of Gaza when their suffering is being ignored by most. I would like to know how you get the shoes through to Gaza or are they purchased from Gaza? If you use the Rafah Border would you look to send aid? Such as water, medicines etc? If so please let me know how I may help.

  2. May 01, 2014 at 4:10 pm, ANERA said:

    Hi Sharifa,

    These shoes were donated by TOMS and ANERA was able to bring them in through the Erez Crossing. We have been delivering relief supplies to Gaza families, clinics and hospitals for many years thanks to donations from our supporters. You can learn more about it here:

    The best way to help is to make a donation to ANERA. Our partner organizations donate millions of dollars worth of supplies like clothes, medicines and hygiene kits. But the costs of making the delivery are covered almost entirely by donations from people like you.

    Thank you so much for your support, Sharifa.

  3. May 02, 2014 at 1:40 pm, therese sekellick said:

    It’s refreshing to hear of an American company helping Palestinian refugees. we need more companies like that.
    thank you Tom’s shoes company. I will definitely be buying Tom’s shoes.

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