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The season of giving back

By Tonique Belnavis | Staff Writer
On November 27, 2017

Students helping Professor Daniels in the clothing drive for children in South Africa. 
Photo credit: Christopher Daniels 

With winter approaching, there are a significant amount of people in South Africa who do not own the proper clothing to sustain the change in weather. The majority of those people are children.

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) very own professor, Christopher Daniels plans to strike change for South Africans. For the past seven years, Daniels has taken trips to South Africa and has been a part of several service projects.

In tradition of his annual trips to South Africa, Daniels is planning to visit the country during the spring, but this time, he wants to bring clothes.

“We wanted to give clothes because in South Africa a lot of kids don’t have access to high-level clothing. They have a lot of cheap Chinese clothes, so we want to collect some gently used or new clothes to donate to them. And also, [particularly] winter clothes because I know a lot of kids get sick in the winter time because they don’t have the proper clothing,” Daniels said.

Daniels plans to take fifty students to two different orphanages in South Africa and help them in any way possible.

 On Friday, Nov. 3 at FAMU’s Set Friday,, Daniels along with FAMU students Chelsey Brown and Nalani Kelleymarsh presented a table to collect donations from the student body.

Chelsey Brown is a current graduate student studying global security and international affairs. Brown has had the pleasure of visiting Africa and said after her initial visit she became aware of the struggles of some of the people in Africa and developed a game plan to be a part of a change.

“Since my previous experience in Africa, I’ve learned that there is not enough government assistance like here in the United States, so when people actually say there are poor people there, that really means that not only are they poor, but the really don’t have access to extra programs or government funding programs to help them out in their situation,” Brown said. “There are limited resources and anything we could give to them is definitely a need because they don’t have any other place to get it from.”

Brown serves as an advocate to inform those interested in the ultimate goal of the clothing drive. She strongly recommends that students visit Africa to have a worldview and not stay in their comfort zone.

“You have to take risks no matter what you do whether it's in the states or not. People who actually go abroad have a worldview because you actually start to appreciate things that you have here because you see how limited it is a different country,” Brown said.

Professor Daniels and a student at the collection drive for the South Africa clothing drive.
Photo credit: Chelsey Brown

Nalani Kelleymarsh is an undergraduate student who has not been to South Africa, but plans to attend the trip during spring break. Kelleymarsh said she is extremely anxious and passionate about extending her resources to those in need.

“I'm glad that I can be able to extend my resources to people who really need it. We have things that are not a big deal to us but it’s a big deal to someone else and I think that’s what really cool about it,” Kelleymarsh said.

According to Daniels, he wants to give people an opportunity to be apart of a bigger cause, even if they can not go to South Africa physically.

“I wanted to connect people with the kids, so if they cannot go on the trip to South Africa they still could donate and still be a part of it in some way. It would also let the kids know that people at FAMU care about them even from far away in Tallahassee, FL.”

The next donation collections will be Dec. 1 during Set Friday.


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