An old Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.” This summer, a group of NC State students will put that proverb to the test as they travel to Guatemala to teach business and marketing techniques to help a community launch a sustainable business.
Thestudents are part of Nourish International, an organization that reduces poverty through student action, and strives to make a stand against poverty in a tangible way. Since 2004, Nourish students have completed 45 international projects, which range from holding public health screenings in Guyana to creating gardens in Thailand.
This year, the NC State chapter is partnering with the University of Florida chapter to raise money for the trip. Their goal is $1,500, and the NC State chapter is already making a huge dent in it by selling pancakes on campus every Thursday night.
The fundraiser is called Pancakes for Poverty, and they sell pretty much any type of pancake you can imagine. Along with buttermilk, chocolate chip and M&M pancakes, they sometimes put bacon into the pancakes, which has been a huge hit.
The uniqueness of the organization is what inspired current chapter president, Nathan Sink, to take part. “I know we have a lot of socially conscious clubs, but we address it in a totally different way,” he says. “We are looking at ways to go to the root of the problem and then solve that.”
Students from both chapters will fly to Guatemala after exams are finished in May, and host workshops on business, marketing and administration. The group wants to connect the business with the global market. “We will be a liaison for them,” says Sink, a senior from Lexington, N.C.
Sink and other members of the chapter have been talking with local jewelry retailers about selling the community’s jewelry here in the United States. “We want to connect them with that so they can have a craft market and what they make will fill a want for handmade things here,” he says.
All of the money they raise through fundraising will go directly to the project. The students are in charge of funding their own personal expenses, including plane tickets, food and other necessities. Donations can be made to the UF and NC State group on their fundraising website.