Building Nigeria with education: two ladies start a group donation that sends 22 children to school in Awka

School Children Fees -2

It has long been my opinion that Nigeria’s salvation will not be found within the tabernacles of a mega-church nor heard from the muezzin’s call to prayer; it will not be from a presidential decree nor from the division or unification of Nigeria, but from everyday Nigerians changing their attitudes to each other and assuming the spirit of helping their neighbour.

This was made crystal clear in the last few months when a youth corper’s frustration at the poverty in which some of her students found themselves was heard by one of her friends, who then came through for these students in the most spectacular way.

(PS. If you would like to help in anyway, please write to us here at

Ajifa Raphael was carrying out her youth service in Awka, Anambra State, when she was heartbroken one day to discover that some of her students were being sent home as a result of non-payment of fees.

Ajifa herself is passionate about education and it has been her lifelong dream to open a Montessori someday and run a mobile library, so this news hit her hard, and she took to her Facebook page to lament this exclusion from education. It seemed like a futile complaint – one that we, her friends – had tragically heard too many times. Lord knows these children were not at fault and their parents couldn’t right the situation. We all left sombre thoughts and comments on her wall and thought that was the end.

Till Viola Okolie sent Ajifa a private message to inquire about helping ten girls in the school. Ajifa contacted me to tell me the amazing news – she was so dazed that someone could stretch out such a hand of generosity. What started out as an inquiry bloomed into an unstoppable train of donations and gifting. Sufficient funds were raised for school fees, books and school uniforms for 22 students for the entire year!

Heads will roll for publicising her like this, but we will risk Ms Okolie's wrath. You rock!!
Heads will roll for publicising her like this, but we will risk Ms Okolie’s wrath. You rock!!

(PS. If you would like to help in anyway, please write to us here at

The parents are besides themselves with joy and can’t stop crying. The two women in the middle of this outpouring of love are completely overwhelmed by the gratitude and emotions that this one act has brought. And it’s not because the House of Assembly sat or because a new bill was passed. It is because Ms Okolie asked a simple question. Even while typing this, my heart overflows and there are tears on my keyboard. Well done, Viola! Well done!

What is most outstanding about the story is that none of the characters are wealthy. They simply wanted to make a change and they saw to it that they did.

Yes, there is still next year. Yes, there are other students who were not part of the lucky 22 – both in that school and nationwide. But we solved one problem today. And we nudged Nigeria ever so slightly into a better future.

Here is Ms Raphael giddy with her beloved students:

Viola’s account of the story:

Ajifa, our cry-cry baby 🙂

PS. If you would like to help in anyway, please write to us here at

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