Savannah Smith had experiences in Cameroon cut short by COVID-19. This is an important story for several reasons as explored in the interview.
Savannah Smith recounts her Cameroon experience
Savannah Smith developed a love for Cameroon and a socio-economic-political understanding beyond most. While it is sad that Ms. Smith’s Fulbright fellowship was cut short, her experience should be a learning experience for all.
Our interview on her experiences in Cameroon was multifaceted and multidimensional. The interview was necessarily longer than most because her insightfulness opened other areas of discussion well worth exploring.
Savannah made several political, social, and economic statements many would say beyond her young age. But one stuck with me because it is something anyone helping another, whether an individual, a company, or a country should heed.
“People don’t need saving,” Savannah said. “People never have — or a bunch of money thrown at them. … If anything folks need knowledge. And when I say knowledge; knowledge about the power that they have and how to use it, And then for us on the other side of ‘other’ our job is to do what we don’t want to do. Restructure power. … People don’t need a handout. They need, the power to be restructured. Because what I realize is that in every space folks are going to figure out how to survive. And most of the time it’s not always with tears down your eyes how you might expect. People have agency and they always use it.”
That was a prescient statement. A statement of forwarding respect and necessary humility and a concept few from the nations of power understand.
Listen to the entire interview in the context of moving the world forward simply by understanding the humanity of all. While many would dismiss the deeds and thoughts of our young, we better be humble in understanding that they are living through many of the grave errors we’ve made that affect them negatively. And it is they who must ultimately clean it up.
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