18 Year Old Nigerian Saves Homeless Children
back to school to prevent them from making the same mistakes he did.At only 18 years old, James Okina decided to turn his life around by turning around the lives of others. In Nigeria, his home country, he brought homeless children
Nigeria has an estimated 8,6 million children roaming the streets homeless. These are among the 10,5 million Nigerians of school age that do not attend school.
Every child has the right to education. This is why James came up with an idea of sending those homeless children to school.
He started at 15, when he helped two kids get back to school. Then he decided never to quit because those children needed him. He was young and untrained, but he took responsibility. He acted as if there were no other options. The knowledge he gained in the process is irreplaceable.
He started alone, talking with these kids and gaining their trust. He decided to help them no matter what, because in them he could see a younger version of himself. His parents separated when he was 8 and he had to go live with a dad who was never around. With no parental guidance or care, he turned to gangs for a sense of belonging and often got into trouble.
He started an organization Street Priests and today it has 50 volunteers. They facilitate involvement in school for at risk and indigent child to prevent them from ending up on the streets. They also work with the basic rights council to report and prosecute abuse cases. He and his team have so far saved 215 homeless kids. Their core motivation was to turn the smile back on those kid’s faces and, in their hearts, ignite hope that there is a chance.