Food is good, but we need skills!
by Ivy Lopez
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. –English Proverb
Outreach programs have always been part of our culture in school. Students and teachers alike occasionally visit the school’s adopted barangays bringing food for the beneficiaries and tokens or gifts to make them smile along with a lively program which includes intermission numbers and games.
But what is the impact of this traditional way of creating an outreach program? Isn’t there a better way to satisfy the needs of the people we choose to help?
In the famous quote above, instead of just handing down goods, why don’t we share skills and knowledge our beneficiaries can use to earn a living or live a better life?
Outreach does not just end by feeding kids and giving them gifts for Christmas. These are just material gifts that can give our recipients temporary joy and satisfaction.
If we are really concerned for those we choose to help, we will not stop at giving dole-outs. We should start by helping them mold their character, anchored in Catholic virtues while making sure they have sufficient knowledge to be able to start something productive in their community.
We could prepare some entrepreneurial training and workshops. We could help teach mothers how to better discipline and instill the love of learning in their children. We could teach them how to better keep their families ready for calamities. These are only a few of the countless ways we could reach out.
Food and material things may easily vanish but the knowledge and skills people gain will always remain and continue to impact your future.
With this, you did not just feed a man for a day but you taught him how to ensure his supply of food for a lifetime.