Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.
This well-known proverb suggests that the best way to help someone is to educate them. If you give them food today, they’ll be hungry tomorrow, but if you teach them how to get their own food, they’ll have sustenance for a lifetime.
It’s something that we often forget when making charitable decisions but it’s something that Folabi Clement Solanke has kept close to his heart.
This Nigerian-American entrepreneur understands that the best way to fix Nigeria’s problems is not to simply send a few supplies every now and then but to attack the issues at the source.
For the Arizona native, that means fixing the education system. In rural Nigeria, up to 50% of children don’t go to school. As a result, they never learn to read or write; they don’t know how to better their lives or the lives of their families.
He uses his own life as an example. His parents were raised in an underprivileged and poverty-stricken region of this West African nation, but they earned an education and used it to build a life and a family in the United States.
The American-born philanthropist understands that his fortune is a direct result of their education, and he strives to create the same opportunities for others.
Many Nigeran schools are in a dire state of repair, some towns don’t even have a school. The kids want to learn, but they have nowhere to turn.
Solanke’s goal is to follow in the footsteps of entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote and Didier Drogba, and he’s calling for other Americans to help.
He has already supplied many underprivileged communities with books, book bags, clothes, lighting, and other essentials, before using these to fix the problems inherent in the Nigerian education system.
By connecting with local organizations, including ULS team Phoenix Rising, he has been able to transform the lives of hundreds of Nigerian schoolchildren.
And this is just the beginning. He has a long way to go, a lot of changes to make, and he needs your help. You can follow Solanke’s work by visiting his personal blog at FolabiClement.com or visiting Generations Nigeria here.