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At least 65,000 children across the country are set to benefit from a shoe distribution programme by Adra, a faith-based US organisation. 

The project was launched by Adra-Rwanda on Monday. It targets reaching out to students from 52 schools as beneficiaries from different parts of the country.

The programme is part of the Toms Shoes, a California-based company, which recently came up with a strategy to distribute shoes among pupils.

This particular programme will benefit pupils in schools that the organisation has identified to have children who urgently need shoes, according to Patrick Mphaka, the Adra Rwanda acting programme director.

“As development partners, we cannot do everything, but at least we identify areas of urgent need; and this is exactly what we are doing. Children cannot be infected by diseases as a result of lacking shoes,” he said.

The programme, launched at Bwerankori Primary School in Kagarama Sector, Kicukiro District, saw 1,389 pupils receive a pair of shoes each.

Beneficiaries could not hide their excitement after receiving the shoes.

“I have been having only one pair and it was hard  for me to keep it clean but now that I have two, it will be easier,” said Jules Mutabazi, one of the beneficiaries.

He appreciated ADRA for picking on the school to benefit from the programme. According to the organisation, schools in the Southern and Eastern Provinces will benefit.

These include those in the districts of Muhanga, Kamonyi, Rwamagana and Karongi among others.

Prior to the launch of the programme, ADRA Rwanda made a survey to identify the right beneficiaries; and according to the organisation`s education project manager, Sam Ndayambaje, a big number of pupils identified to benefit are from schools in refugee camps.

He added that pupils from schools in the refugee camps of Kigeme in Nyamagabe district, Nyabiheke in Gastibo and Kiziba in Karongi district will benefit.

The three camps are occupied by tens of thousands of Congolese refugees.