For this experience in Kigali, we've teamed up with The Atinga Project to bring you a very unique opportunity to make your own sandals!
The Kigali Custom Fit is at the heart of what The Atinga Project is all about: walking a mile in the shoes of people who are so often labeled as poor or portrayed as needy. During this experience, you will literally have that opportunity - to walk a mile in their shoes - and get custom-fitted atingas made on the spot by the artisan-shoemakers of Kigali.
You’ll be escorted by Atinga Rwanda Director Jean (‘John’) Bosco to the workshops of Atinga Artisan-Shoemakers to learn about fairtrade footwear, eco-friendly repurposing of materials, and the atinga tire-sandal production process.
"To see Westerners walking in our shoes, it encourages my heart and makes me feel proud. It gives special value to my work."
The “One for One” movement became so out of control in 2011, that three college students began extensive research on supply chains in Africa in order to better communicate the economic injustice of hand-outs and explore alternatives. What they found were the victims behind those hand-outs: the entrepreneurial, informal network of artisan-shoemakers. Informed chiefly by them, Atinga was formed to defend and support their livelihoods and openly compete against this movement with their very own footwear - Africa’s most humble shoes.
You can read more about the artisan-shoemakers behind this incredible Project on their website.
Three of the five Atinga Artisan-Shoemakers have been hand-crafting footwear for over seven years. They continue to service their local communities, repairing shoes (often by resoling with tire treads!) and making new tire-sandals. In 2014, they chose to join together to make The Atinga Project a reality as an international social business.