CAJCA, Peru – Every afternoon on a Peruvian hillside, young Fabiana can be found tending her family’s sheep.
It’s the main source of income for their family, and Fabiana does everything she can to help, especially ever since her dad passed away, leaving her mom as the sole provider for Fabiana and her siblings.
But poverty has taken a toll on their family—especially on Fabiana’s little feet.
Unable to afford sturdy, protective shoes, Fabiana instead makes countless treks up and down the mountainside wearing only a thin pair of sandals.
Her feet are often blistered, burned by the harsh rub of her sandals and also the cold weather. When an Operation Blessing team came to her village with brand new TOMS Shoes for all the children, Fabiana was at first reluctant to remove her sandals and expose her calloused feet.
But when OBI’s Dr. Sandra Abaiza slipped the perfectly fitting new shoes on her feet, Fabiana’s face broke out in a wide grin. She would no longer have to endure the harsh weather without shoes to protect her small feet or feel such shame and embarrassment.
“Good health can come by good medicine,” Dr. Abaiza said, “but it can also be given in the form of a simple canvas shoe. These shoes showed the children that with each new day, better opportunities are possible. It gave them a new concept of hope.”