NAMPA, Idaho — Poverty is a big issue all over the world. According to a world vision report 9.2% of the world’s population is living a life of struggle and deprivation. It limits the ability to access quality education, health care, and basic needs as small as shoes.
Founder of Because International, Kenton Lee, says, “Many kids around the world. Especially those who live in a warm weather country. Many of them live in extreme poverty that shoes are not a part of their life. It's not an option for many of their families. So, it's a big deal when they can have at least one pair of shoes."
That’s where Because International comes in. Lee says their mission is to use products as solutions to help fight against poverty, like their shoes.
"A shoe that can adjust and expand in its size and we call that 'The Shoe that Grows,” said Lee.
Because International was founded in 2007 to help many kids around the world protect their feet.
“Living in Kenya in a small orphanage and seeing kids who either did not have any shoes or had shoes, but they would outgrow them." Lee says, "Shoes are a small thing that makes a big difference."
The innovative shoe expands 5 sizes to help minimize the times a child grows out off their shoe.
"They can take off this front mechanism here and it looks like the number 5. This has a little bit of hook and they can put it in one of the loops. So, they can it shorter or longer,” said Lee.
Aside from making adjustable shoes, Because International also helps other organizations like Style Her Empowered in Boise with a similar innovative approach.
Style Her Empowers Founder and CEO, Payton McGriff says, "I went through the Because Accelerator and we were developing our school uniform that actually adjust with our students. We discovered that girls were outgrowing part way through the school year and as a solution to that problem we designed a dress that expands 6 sizes and up to a foot in length."
Both non profits focus on fighting poverty on a global level, but they both say the community in Idaho makes it all happen.
"This is such a great community to be in. all of the social leaders and entrepreneurs are incredibly accessible,” said McGriff.
“It is such a great place for us to run this organization and really it's so much bigger than just us. We love that the community has helped build this and start this,” said Lee.
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