Frequently Asked Questions:


1. Can I send you my kid’s old shoes?

No: If shoes are too worn out for your own children they are unlikely to protect the feet of children on dumps. For the cost of posting your shoes to us and then flying them to a dump we could instead buy a strong water tight pair of boots in that country. Unfortunately we do get sent a lot of  items that cannot be used. Think before you give shoes.

Yes: If you do your own small steps and organise a shoe collection with your family and friends. If they are boxed up with no less than 20 pairs, stuck together with size on and an inventory, we can add to the aid convoys.  Please email us and let us know what items you have before you send them.

Yes: We do accept donations in kind of shoes and other items that we send to dumps and projects from manufacturers and companies. Please email us and let us know what items you have before you send them.


2. How is my donation spent?

 100% of our public donations are spent on shoes, emergency aid and sustainable projects for children and families who survive from scavenging in rubbish. We rely on sales, screenings and corporate sponsorship to run the charity.


3. Where does the rubbish on these dumps come from?

It comes from everywhere: obviously the host country, but then from a lot of First World countries (with the exception of Scandinavia and New Zealand and only 2% from Australia!) Many European countries, especially England contribute a huge amount of waste to the world as do large international companies such as airlines.


4. Don’t they just sell the aid distributed?

Unavoidably, a handful of people do sell the aid distributed however, we provide them with more than just shoes so that they aren’t forced to sell them. We work with communities to ascertain what items will improve their lives and health and provide those items.


5. What happens when Small Steps is no longer on the dump?

Small Steps endeavours to partner with established in country NGOs and grass roots projects to offer our beneficiaries sustainable care. We then continue to sponsor our beneificiaries through these projects as well as providing smaller organisations grants to help pay for the extra children we take to them. Each project for each country has a page on this website and is mentioned in Amy’s Blog and on Links. We monitor and evaluate our projects and revisit dumps to check on the impact of our projects and the ongoing care delivered through our partner projects.


6. What about the adults on the dump?

When the project first started, due to the limited funds we had, we prioritised providing shoes and aid to children.  However, as we have grown we now work more with families, providing items that will enable them to look after their children more effectively, including food, assistance with improving their living conditions, as well as assisting them in finding alternative emploment and providing child care provisions for their children.


7. How does the project fund itself?

The project is funded by donations in kind, donations that are specifically given for the delivery costs, by corporate sponsorship, by celebrity shoe auctions, by documentary screenings, by media and press and, mostly, by an amazing team of volunteers who contribute their skills for free.

Currently we are not well-funded and that does impede how much we can do. We do need core funding to expand and reach more children and we are always looking for funding and fundraisers who can help us.


8. How can I help?

If you have skills that you could contribute, funding that you can offer, fundraising that you can do, we are always in need. You can email us your ideas, your CV, and tell us about the skills you think you can offer the project.