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Do you know that over 700 million people in Africa have controversial parasitic diseases, specifically at school age children? That is because they walk long distance to school everyday. For this reason I have adapted the material, Tyvek to design a functional, breathable and affordable sneakers for African children.


During April 2014, I have two groups of designers that went to two countries, Kenya and South Africa. When I went to Johannesburg I cooperated with Samaritan Feet International and Tzu Chi foundation. I lived in a poor campus and worked with local volunteers. When I contact with doctors, they share an valuable information with me. Parasites are related with weather and living condition. In rainy season parasites lives in soil and in river water.  Human and animals excreta can increase parasites in soil. Most parasite transmits to human through soil contact without even cuts or wounds, such as hookworm. Once affected the patients will feel uncomfortable and anemia. Sign of parasites will eroding the patient’s daily live. 


Today my solo major project is walking without shoes. My design is using adapted material, Tyvek. It has several advantages. It is a high-density polyethylene fibers, synthetic material. The material is very strong; it is difficult to tear but can easily be cut with scissors or a knife. Water vapor can pass through Tyvek, but not liquid water. In addition, its price is lower than many materials of boots, such as leather, PU and PVC. (per square meter Tyvek is 0.544 pound leather is 1.68 PU is 0.88 pound PVC is 0.656 pound) (annual wage China 1469.68 Kenya 409.6 South Africa 966.71 pound) As a result, this cost of shoes would be 1 pound including material fee, employer's salary and deliver coat. However, in the marketing there are always many cheaper shoes for African children. For example, a sample canvas shoes is approximately 2.4 pound, but these materials cannot protect their feet.  In rainy season they need a waterproof boots. If they have canvas shoes and rainy boots. The cost will be 3.2 pound without deliver fee. 


As for this charity system, we establish a bridge among Samaritan Feet, local people and Skechers. When people buy Skechers sneakers, they will deliver one Tyvek sneakers to Africa children. Samaritan Feet will build up a shoes factories in Kenya and South Africa. This plan not only provide wage for local employers but also healthcare and tuition for their child. Samaritan Feet will transport these sneakers to neighboring countries. Thus, we could import a great number of amount to prevent parasites. 


This sneakers is called TipToes. The materials is Tyvek, EVA foam and canvas. Tyvek offers both breathable and waterproof function. The velcro tape design can transform two types. It is suitable for Africa weather between dry and rainy season. When dry season, children can wear the low cut. It is comfortable for children feet. Oppositely, in rainy season the high vision can protect the feet and reduce probability of soil contact. On the other hand, this shape of sneaker is from children activities. Their famous sport, football. The old tire rubber will be inserted in front of the shoes for durability. There can be durable. Finally, when children get TipTops, they can draw pattern on the surface of shoes. It is a way to keep and show their identity. 


Overall, the plan of TipToes can bring happiness to African children and group up without diseases. 


Thank you. 


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