By Vanessa Papas EIGHT-THOUSAND kilometres in 18 days – any car, any route: An insane African adventure, The Put Foot Rally is all in the name of charity.
The Put Foot Foundation is a volunteer-based, proudly South Africa NPO born out of the need to tackle the daily plight and indignity of children with no shoes. The foundation operates across the whole of South Africa, particularly in the less privileged and rural areas, as well as in Southern Africa on special occasion or when special needs arise. They only gift brand new school shoes. Being firm believers in doing something once, and doing it properly, children receive high-quality, robust, 100 percent leather school shoes. The Foundation believes that a new pair of shoes should be tough enough to protect a young child’s feet whether, it be on the playground, on the sports field, or even walking home in the snow on a gravel road in the middle of winter. All about hands-on direct charity work, the Foundation looks forward to a massive fundraising event – the famous Put Foot Rally – that hits the road annually.
The Put Foot Rally is approximately, roughly, sort-of-in-the region of 8 000km (give or take a 500kms), maybe more, maybe less, travelling across five incredible countries (six if you book a wrong turn and end up in Angola or Kenya – although this is not advised!). The journey, which takes ‘put footers’ through South Africa to Namibia to Zambia to Malawi and finally to Mozambique, is all in the name of charity, so it’s no wonder so many South Africans love this event.
“If you’re planning on bringing a Dakar Rally support crew, a tow truck, Chuck Norris and a petrol tanker, you’ve booked into the wrong event!,” says Daryn Hillhouse of the Put Foot Foundation. “The Put Foot Rally is all about not taking life too seriously, relying on your instinct, using a hammer to fix the unfixable and making roads where no wheels have travelled before. Most memorable journeys of this sort start with an exhaust pipe falling off after the first gravel road. The Rally is not just an event. It is one of the few remaining gatherings on Earth where like-minded adventurers come together to experience raw, unfiltered Africa! Where rules are few and where there is so much opportunity to experience it all! Make new friends, see incredible animals, view insane sites of natural beauty; to party under African skies and to experience new countries, people and cultures. The best part? Put Footers will have their unforgettable African experience and also get the opportunity to give back to those grateful souls and beautiful people who make the African continent so special!”
Daryl explained that Put Foot’s goal in 2015 was to raise funds for a minimum of 600 pairs of shoes and to provide donors and Put Foot Rally participants with the opportunity to see and feel ‘first-hand’ the life-changing experience that gifting a brand new pair of school shoes to a young underprivileged child can deliver. Raising money for these two worthy causes, each Put Footer was required to raise a minimum of R1 000. The first R1 000 raised had to be donated to the Official Rally Charity: Put Foot Foundation. Each crew was free to support a charity of their choice once they’ve raised the initial money for the Put Foot Foundation.
The Put Foot Foundation has gifted over 10 000 pairs of shoes in just two years from the generosity of Put Footers! The Put Foot Rally’s ‘Supporting Charity’ policy takes a leading role in the tourism industry by encouraging others to contribute and preserve our incredible continent, which provides millions every year with an ‘African Experience’, so that future generations may also share in our beautiful land.
Pay It Forward
To find out more about more about this year’s rally, log onto the Putfoot Rally website.
IF you’d like to donate to the cause and support the Put Foot Foundation, log onto Putfoot Foundation Donations