In 2003 Lance Clark, the 6th generation shoemaker, was invited to Durban in South Africa to advise on the shoe industry there. At that time the unemployment ran at 50% and as a result there were significant social problems in the area.
Whilst in South Africa, Lance decided to pursue the idea to 'give the people the means, the ambition and the pride to help themselves' through shoemaking rather than aid dependency”.
From that beginning, SOA has been making shoes in South Africa, Tunisia and Ethiopia.
In 2017 they set up a brand new production line in Ethiopia developing skills and creating permanent employment for shoemakers, technicians, managers… as the production continues to grow, it will the positively impact on the lives of the employees and their families.
Over the past decade SOA has helped 18,000 children and families delivering over 100 projects.