Philanthropists give a part of their wealth for social good. Community workers give a part of their time for social movements which they feel strongly about. Social entrepreneurs give capital to set up a community-based business with the aim of making a profit while delivering value simultaneously.
In a world that has been for so long seduced by the trappings of success and capitalism’s mantra of “survival of the fittest”, it is increasingly clear that if we don’t adopt a new philosophy, not only can we not live at peace within our community but we can no longer be at ease.
Surely only a sadist can enjoy being the only billionaire in his community while he is surrounded by poverty and hunger. In a country like Nigeria with 70% living below the poverty line of $2 a day, surely we cannot keep expecting a miracle to happen or the Federal Government alone to do the job. Each and everyone of us must get involved.
The Core Development Initiative– www.coredevini.org is run by Kai Orga, a lady with a regular 9-5 job at a financial institution, yet she regularly organizes capacity building programmes aimed at the poor or disadvantaged students in L.E.A. schools as well as unemployed youths. She hopes to increase the skill set and knowledge base of these young ones in order to create a level-playing field and increase their opportunities and create new references of possibilities available to the next generation. I had the opportunity to mentor some kids at the L.E.A school at Durumi in Abuja last week Friday, courtesy of this initiative. All I can say is that I felt more fulfilled looking at the beaming smiles from the faces of these kids than writing an invoice that ran in millions for delivering a similar program for an international oil company just a week ago.
You do not have to be a millionaire, a politician or governor’s wife in order to feel the sense of fulfillment that contribution brings. Giving drugs at an Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camp, giving toys and food items to an orphanage, setting up small community-based business initiatives aimed at teaching widows in villages the rudiments of starting, owning and growing a business are all ways to give back to your community.
I believe the Nigeria of our dreams won’t be created by a political party of singular politician, but by each and everyone of us choosing to contribute our own efforts in whatever way we can. Together we will build Nigeria one day at a time. So don’t give up on your country just yet yet when you haven’t given back what you can. Don’t give in to the excuse that change can only come from politics. Each of us has the power to create a new vision for our community and become a force for good.