Teach A Man To Fish is firmly rooted in the concept that the highest form of charity is to help others to help themselves. The organization’s name is based on the ancient proverb “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”.
Nik Kafka and His Global Impact
According to the World Bank, 1 in 6 children live in poverty. Drop-out rates in secondary school remain high around the world according to UNESCO, especially among girls. According to the International Labour Organization, there are 68 million unemployed young people worldwide and in the next 10 years, 1 billion young people will be joining the workforce. Conventional education is not enough to ensure lifelong success for people; they need skills that are valued by employers and allow them to adapt to an ever changing world.
With the added uncertainty from the pandemic, marginalized communities in low-income countries continue to struggle. Nik Kafka’s goal is to empower millions of young people with skills that will enable them to reach their true potential. In turbulent times, an entrepreneurial and growth mindset and relevant skills ensure that young people are able and confident to seize opportunities to improve their lives.
The School Enterprise Challenge, Teach A Man To Fish’s primary offering, is a 14-step program providing support for teachers to help facilitate students setting up businesses in school settings. Operating in more than 34 countries, Teach A Man To Fish executes through distance, in-person learning and through local partnerships across the world. Approximately 2,000 schools and 70,000 students a year participate in The School Enterprise Challenge as part of a class or after school program with some schools starting to integrate the program into their core curriculum. Schools in the program move through challenges with the help of Teach A Man To Fish, create business plans and sustainable ventures, learn business operations and how to create financials and reinvest profits. While the main focus is imparting skills, the school businesses generate nearly $1,000,000 USD in income every year which then goes towards educational and community needs.
Teach A Man To Fish has also expanded to include out of school clubs, teacher training and consulting. During COVID, Teach A Man To Fish created Enterprise Adventure, a mobile app and off-line workbooks that help young people identify challenges in their neighborhood and begin to develop solutions.
Nik has given young people the skills and confidence to forge their own pathways out of poverty. He has helped to increase the lifetime earnings of students who take their skills to other aspects of their life, sometimes creating family businesses. Schools that have participated in the School Enterprise Challenge have experienced lower drop out rates and found that girls are more likely to stay in school. Teachers have commented that they too are learning new ways of collaboration and teaching.
Nik was honored as a Young Global Leader in 2009 by the World Economic Forum and named in 2011 as one of Devex’s 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders in London. He holds an MSc in International Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, as well as a first-class BSc in Chemistry from the University of Bristol and professional qualifications in finance. He currently lives in London with his family.