On Saturday the 30th June, I had the privilege of joining the Path to Possibilities team as they readied themselves to run 10K for their “Race for Change” at Trent Park in Cockfosters. I would have loved to join them off course, but in jeans and boots I wasn’t entirely well attired…which is just as well as I would have collapssed after about a metre. Not the Path to Possibilities team though! They were as energetic and raring to go as ever.
So who are Path to Possibilities?
Path to Possibilities is a UK-based charity with a passionate commitment to transforming the lives of disadvantaged young people in Nigeria. As well as sponsoring secondary education for poor but bright children,they campaign to improve the education system and share best practise teaching with schools. This passionate commitment is especially evident, when you speak to the founder of the organisation;Titilayo Bello- it is unmissable.
.When speaking of the inspiration behind her brainchild that is Path to Possibilities she said, that in terms of children in Nigeria, “”we speak about the poverty alot, but what we don’t really talk about is the talent. There is immense talent in Nigeria, and I just felt it would be a shame to lose the potential because people couldn’t afford to send their childeren to schools.” With this in mind, Titilayo Bello created Path to Possibilities three years ago.
Unfortunately, it seems to be the case, as Titilayo Bello inferred, that many Nigerians-or Africans in general- vocalise disaffection with the way the “system” has treated the children of their homeland, and yet make no moves to change the situation. In light of this, when asked how difficult it was to garner support for Path to Possibilities- despite it’s admirable aims, and plans to make a difference for the children, in Nigeria, Titilayo Bello said, that it was “very difficult as a lot of us do speak of the poverty and don’t actually think that we could do something ourselves. We started off with no official backing, we still don’t have any official backing but it’s really juust trying to encourage people and inspire them, and realise that they have the skills necessry. A lot of our volunteers have been with us from the very beginning. It’s not always about donating money, it’s about offering your skills. A lot of our volunteers have been with us from the very beginning. They key thing is, that everyone can do something. We all have skills, if we really hone into that we can make such a huge difference”
Path to Possibilities, uses talent, to nurture talent. It is more than a charity that is soley based on monetary donation- it taps into the essence of charity- the humanity of it. Our talents and gifts are what make us unique, and we are given the opportunity to use these talents to help hone, encourage and refine those of others. It could make for a beautifully cyclic process. Those children who are helped by Path to Possibilities will grow up knowing that somebody sponsored their dreams using their abilities, and in turn will most likely want to do that for other disadvantaged children. Path to Possibilties makes a significant difference. By September, the charity would have sent 7 childeren to school, set up teaching practise in at least ten schools and they would have done that just using the skills and education that the Path to Possibilities team and supporters have had themselves. It’s about using our own resources- the power of the people.
In relation to this, Path to Possibilities goes further than just supplying books, and building school- they are hands on. They train teachers to make classes more engaging and interacrtive, teaching them skills, that can be passed on and will be to the betterment of themselves and their pupils. Path to Possibilities “goes into Nigeria, with their teachers and show them first hand better ways of engaging with students and managing classes, and better ways of getting more out of the students that they have” . We see here, a charity that works not just donating money, in a rather clinical detatched way, but really getting involved. Sometimes charity goes beyond fiscal donations- some situations require more, and Path to Possibilities goes this extra mile.
It is a truly passion-led charity and I feel it’s Titilayo’s genuine ardour for her cause that helps bring people in. Speaking to, 2 times Path to Possibilities Chairity runner Jimi Sotimehin, he said “The amount of passion Titilayo had encouraged me to support this charity. ” also continuing to say that if “we don’t do anything who will?”. Indeed a lot of potential and opportunity can be lost if we rely on others to change the things that we think need changing. It was wonderful to see the passion for this charity manifested into action in Trent Park on Saturday.
The energy, vitality and love that buzzed through the crowd that ran that day was beautiful to witness, and there were smiles, and laughter all around.People who hadn’t met previously were chatting like best friends, all knit together by a common and ever worthy cause. Just being around this charitable family, you felt that you were part of something, and you would have to have heart made out of ice not to catch the warm fuzzy feeling that resonated throughout the morning.
This charity is one of genuine passion, love and one that confirms the fact that “There is no change without action”. To be part of it, why not keep the 18th of August free, for their black tie, fund-raising Gala. The Gala will include a fashion show, and performances from afrobeat wonders, Omar and May7ven
If you are interested in supporting this wonderful charity, and going to this event, please visit their website here- http://www.pathtopossibilities.co.uk/
It is more than a worthy cause.