The United States isn’t the only country having a difficult 2020. Nigeria has recorded the fifth highest number of COVID-19 cases in Africa, it is facing a brutal and bloody crackdown following SARS protests, and it has a burgeoning population that it can’t support.
All of these issues and more are why philanthropist/entrepreneur Folabi Solanke makes regular trips to the country and has devoted his time to helping its most underprivileged citizens.
Several years ago, Solanke co-founded GENERATIONS, which organizes soccer tournaments for Nigeria’s poorest regions, and he has set his sights on the education and health sectors.
As a second-generation Nigerian, he understands just how fine the line between poverty and prosperity can be.
As a second-generation Nigerian, he understands just how fine the line between poverty and prosperity can be. He acknowledges that he wouldn’t be where he was today if his parents weren’t afforded the educational opportunities that so many Nigerians lack.
In fact, the village that Solanke’s mother and father left all of those years ago is now the epicenter of his efforts. He wants to give its many residents the same opportunities that they had, so that future generations have the same prospects that he’s had.
Solanke has already connected with US soccer teams and food banks, suppling the region with everything from soccer balls to clean water, and he hopes to continue his efforts even as the world battles with COVID-19.
“As Americans, it’s easy to look at our current situation and think that we have it worse than anyone. The pandemic is raging, racism is rife, and we’re more divided than ever. But at least we have access to clean water and nutritious food; at least we can send our kids to fully-equipped schools.
In Nigeria, I’ve seen schools that have no chairs, no books. The kids sit shoulder to shoulder on dusty floors. Forget about laptops and projectors—they’re lucky if they get a chalkboard.”
Solanke is asking for help from organizations, influencers, athletes, and anyone else who can raise awareness and provide support. If you want to see more of his work, visit FolabiClement.com or find Solanke on Instagram at @FolabiClement.