Folabi Clement Solanke on Why Food and Water Donations are Not Enough
Never underestimate the power of education. You can feed, clothe, and care for the poor, but if you really want to make a difference, you need to give them the means to provide for themselves.
It’s the old, “Give a man a fish…” adage, and it’s something that people don’t always acknowledge.
Most Americans are quick to donate food, water, and other essentials when they see people in need. They see a starving child; they donate some of their disposable income. Problem solved.
But they are less enthusiastic about funding schools and supplying equipment like books, desks, and even bookbags.
It makes sense. I used to have the same mentality. If you donate food and water, it feels like you’re making a difference. Someone eats that food and drinks that water. They don’t go hungry or thirsty, and your donation has an immediate impact.
But what about the next day, and the next? What about the next generations?
I founded GENERATIONS Nigeria to improve the lives of millions of Nigerians. One of the first things I did was work with American food banks, sports clubs, and influencers to ensure children in need were given some basic essentials.
But that was just the first step, a small part of a much bigger problem. Many of the kids I helped were either out of school or lacking in even the most basic equipment.
They don’t have textbooks, desks, or bookbags. They are taught huddled around trees or sitting on dusty classroom floors.
It’s important to continue providing food and medicine. But if we want to make a real change, we need to focus on the education sector. These kids are eager to learn. They want to change their lives for the better. They just don’t have the resources to do it.
It doesn’t matter how willing you are, if you don’t have the internet, textbooks, or even a school, you won’t learn anything.
That needs to change. It’s time we started thinking about the long-term, as well as the short-term.
I implore all influencers, celebrities, sports stars, and anyone who has the time and means to help, to get in touch.
To learn more about Folabi Clement Solanke, find him on Instagram @FolabiClement or visit his website.