Honestly, I'm a bad person. I'm so cynical I often don't even believe in philanthropy most of the time, because I spent half my career interviewing heads of charities who often seem more concerned with flaunting their wealth or throwing a big party, all ostensibly to save the people they patronizingly deem less fortunate. The whole "it all ends up in a good place" thing just doesn't compute. I like quiet philanthropy.
Quiet like at Tom's, a brand that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. Or at Sseko. Apparently, in Uganda, there's a nine-month gap between secondary school and university, during which students are meant to find employment to finance their education. Since many are unable to find jobs, they just kind of bum, so Sseko employs young women in this situation. It all sounds very child-manual-labour-ish... but what makes it okay I guess is that the company is not-for-profit, so in theory they are providing opportunities without necessarily taking anything away for themselves.
Except nice shoes -- these super-convertible sandals are awesome in their own right. I'm putting in my order, even though winter is just creeping up right now. And though it's still shameless retail therapy on my part, it still makes me feel better than buying a seat at the next charity ball.
Get them at Sseko Designs. And thanks to Andrea for the tip, although she didn't so much give me the tip as post it on her tumblr for me to shamelessly poach.