When most people would rather run away for their own safety, one man chose to stay back and help those who would be victims of a war they did not bring upon themselves.
A Nigerian lawyer, Zannah Mustapha, set up a school in Northeast Nigeria — right in the midst of the Boko Haram conflict, to educate children orphaned by the hideous insurgency.
The end of the 2011 general elections marked the rise of the deadly islamic fundamentalist sect. A West-African coalition offensive in 2015 drove the insurgents into Sambisa forest where war has raged between the Nigerian army and the rebels till today.
Seeing the severe harm this war has caused in the region, more-so to the children left to roam the streets without food or a roof over their heads, Mustapha kept the doors of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School open.
His mission, which includes providing the kids with free education, food and healthcare, is to help them embrace peace and reject the hate that has long fueled some of their fathers’ actions.
“At the Future Prowess School, it is a place where every child matters. All we know is that they are children and we have to find a future for them.”
— Mustapha (CNN)
For his genuine love for the people and his philanthropic efforts, Mustapha was awarded the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Nansen Refugee Award, an annual award that honors exceptional service to the plight of displaced people.