TEDxYSE Announces Fifth Speaker: Rocco Falconer
Rocco Falconer, 22, is the founder of Planting Promise, a community-based organization dedicated to the development and expansion of education in Sierra Leone. The social business projects projects were inspired by 2008 a meeting with Eddie Boston-Mammah, a local philanthropist whose wartime experiences had convinced him of the need to engage with the development of his country:
In order to control the number of children in the street as "street children" and to prevent them from leaving home to become street children/wayward children, we decided to open a FREE PRIMARY SCHOOL on the 8th September, 2008 to help parents who cannot afford to give quality education to their children and secondly, we observed that in order to reduce the rate of children in the street, we can start providing education for them in an early age for them to know the importance of education with the notion that "Learning is better than silver and gold."
Planting Promise develops the prospects of the world’s poorest country by giving local people the opportunity to create sustainable business and pursue their education. The organization currently runs five interrelated business projects; the profits are used to support free education for all.
Planting Promise’s innovative model not only creates meaningful jobs with high social value, but also creates a financially stable model for education. Rocco's travels in eastern and southern Africa played a large part in developing his ideas of how to best deliver lasting, sustainable change for the world's impoverished communities.
To successfully escape the poverty trap, Rocco says, efforts must focus on giving people the capacity to change their own lives and the inspiration to do it.
When we talk about poverty, we need to also talk about the poverty of aspiration.
Rocco’s firm belief is that we need to invest in people, and help them realize anything is possible.