Faith & Service

UPDATE: Shoe Drive Aids Thousands in the Congo

October 11, 2017

Each story in this special feature section demonstrates a tenet of the “We The Champions” Declaration, part of a university-wide project that aims to tell the world how Liberty is fulfilling its mission of Training Champions for Christ.

We The Champions: Fight for the Oppressed

Note: The Liberty Journal published the amazing story, “A Student’s Dream, A Graduate’s Passion, and an NBA Star’s Generosity,” in the last issue, which published before the shoes that were collected in a massive campus shoe drive were delivered to the Congo this past summer. Read a full recap of the trip, watch a video, and view more photos at

More than 20,000 pairs of new and gently used sneakers, collected during a massive campuswide shoe drive last spring, made their way across the Atlantic this summer to benefit people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

NBA superstar Stephen Curry and LU alumnus Chris “COSeezy” Strachan (’11), helped Liberty host a “Kick’n It For A Cause” Convocation in March, where the shoes were collected. They also helped to raise $10,000 to ship the shoes and to purchase food and medical supplies for the Congolese.

Liberty student Emmanuel Ntibonera, a native of the Congo who organized the shoe drive, delivered shoes over the summer.

It was a dream come true for health promotion alumnus and current M.B.A. student Emmanuel Ntibonera, a former Congolese refugee who desired to help his native country. He had already begun a shoe collection project with his family, and when Liberty joined the effort, the endeavor grew larger than he could have ever imagined.

Over the summer, Ntibonera and members of his family distributed shoes, food, and other supplies to villages in eastern Congo. While in Africa, he also met up with a team from Liberty, including Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development David Nasser and Vice President of Spiritual Development Josh Rutledge, as well as Strachan, who heads the Kick’n It organization. The group handed out shoes and supplies to Congolese people in refugee camps.

“The smiles (of orphan children) getting to put on a pair of shoes for the first time — that was the greatest moment,” Ntibonera said. “I am very proud to be a Flame. What we did with Liberty was unbelievable; I could not have done this without them.”

To be involved in the “We The Champions” project and read more inspiring stories from the Liberty community, visit and follow #WeTheChampions on social media.

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