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The Bigshoes Foundation
Type Non-profit organization
Founded 2002
Founder(s) Michelle Meiring

The Bigshoes Foundation is a non-governmental organization based in Johannesburg, which serves the needs of children in South Africa affected by HIV/AIDS. Bigshoes operates three children’s clinics weekly at the Memorial Institute for Child Health and the Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, and also has active sites in Cape Town and Durban.


Bigshoes began when Dr. Michelle Meiring and Dr. Gayle Sherman founded the Children’s Homes Outreach Medical Program (CHOMP) in 2002. CHOMP started its work by addressing medical and social needs of children living in homes, but as the founders discovered that many other facets of the pediatric HIV/AIDS problem were not receiving attention (particularly with regards to orphaned children), they adjusted the focus of their program. In 2003, with initial funding from the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, CHOMP evolved into BigShoes and expanded its goals to include orphaned and vulnerable children, and over the years a community outreach component was introduced.


The Bigshoes Foundation focuses on several aspects of the pediatric HIV/AIDS problem in South Africa, with regards to taking care of orphaned and abandoned babies, medical clinics and outreach, pediatric palliative care, and the training of health care personnel for the specific needs of this population of patients.

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