In an era of negative news on daunting global challenges, MiracleFeet’s work has received noteworthy attention as proof that some problems can be solved and good stories exist.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof acknowledges that skepticism is pervasive, especially when it comes to aid efforts. In his July 2019 newsletter, he writes, “Skeptics sometimes doubt that foreign humanitarian aid does any good. I always answer that it’s hard and doesn’t always work, but some interventions have a very high success rate.”
Repairing clubfoot is one of those, says Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and luminary of humanitarian journalism.
Kristof named MiracleFeet as one of two organizations working to solve this problem—and proving how foreign aid can work and dramatically change lives. “For $500, you can help children walk and change their life trajectory,” he marvels.
MiracleFeet Executive Director Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld knows the transformative power of this simple, effective intervention. She has seen it firsthand in her 10 years leading the organization, which has reached almost 40,000 children in 27 countries.
During a recent interview on The Business of Giving, Colloredo-Mansfeld explained what makes the cause appealing in the face of so many daunting world issues.
“If you’re able to fix this child’s feet, they’re going to be able to go to school,” she told The Business of Giving host Denver Frederick. “They’re going to be able to get a job, and they’re going to literally be able to stand on their own two feet for the rest of their life.”
By training and equipping local healthcare providers, implementing the latest technology, and educating families, MiracleFeet is working to eliminate this preventable disability.
“The treatment itself is very effective, very simple,” says Colloredo-Mansfeld, “and because it’s non-surgical, it’s very inexpensive.”
Kristof highlights the fundamental inequity that drives our work: “In the U.S. this is routinely corrected, but in poor countries the repair often never happens. In that case, the child is never able to walk, is unable to go to school, never marries, and often ends up a beggar.”
Fortunately, for the 200,000 children treated globally in the last 10 years, there is a 95% success rate, making this disability a problem we can solve within our lifetimes.