- In June 2014 former refugee and professional footballer Awer Mabil & his brother, South Sudanese ‘Lost Boy’ Awer Bul, return to Kakuma Refugee Camp, in north-western Kenya, to donate football shirts.
- In August 2014 Awer Mabil briefs businessman Ian Smith, while attending Adelaide United training camp in Alice Springs, on his vision to help refugees.
- In December 2014 Awer Mabil, Awer Bul and Ian Smith meet & name project “Barefoot to Boots” (BTB).
- In April 2015 Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launches Barefoot to Boots in Adelaide & offers support for its forthcoming visit to Kakuma through Australian High Commission in Kenya.
- In June 2015, BTB takes 500kg football gear to Kakuma, supported by FFA & local FFSA clubs.
- During BTB’s first trip discussions with NGOs and refugees highlight the opportunity to support football, health, education & gender-equality initiatives.
- Foundations laid for long-term relationships with UNHCR, LWF, IRC & other NGOs.
- In January 2016 Ian Smith visits Lebanon and Turkey, as part of Friendly Nation Initiative (to employ Syrians settling in Australia) & provides football gear and sleeping bags to refugees.
- Football Ambassadors from professional clubs in Australia join BTB’s efforts.
- Discussions commence between BTB & Ugandan-based social enterprise AfriPads, given urgent need for sanitary pads for women.
- Corporate supporters also begin to partner with BTB (now include Deloitte, GenesisCare, Arnold Bloch Leibler, Liberty House, RACV).
- In June 2016 BTB returns to Kakuma, accompanied by the Australian High Commissioner H.E. John Feakes, with laptops (from Deloitte) and football gear.
- A visit to Kakuma General Hospital highlights urgent needs in maternity ward.
- In September 2016 BTB attends private sector events during President Obama’s Refugee Summit at UN HQ, New York.
- In October 2016 BTB buys incubators in Nairobi & donates to Kakuma General Hospital.
- In November 2016 BTB establishes high-quality Board – Ian Smith (Chairman), Margaret Jackson, Moya Dodd, Louise Steinfort, Awer Bul.
- In December 2016 BTB returns to Kakuma for third time. It also visits newly-established Kalobeyei Camp. Schools and youth groups receive more laptops & football gear.
- Another visit to Kakuma General Hospital identifies need for oxygen supply while school visits highlight demand for more basic education equipment.
- In February 2017 BTB gains Not-For-Profit & Direct-Gift-Recipient status
- In June 2017 BTB visits Bidi Bidi Camp, Uganda, & returns to Kakuma & Kalobeyei with computers, dignity kits (funded by GenesisCare), notepads & pens (funded by RACV) & football gear.
- BTB Founder Awer Mabil also becomes Patron of Barefoot to Boots.