World News

Zannah Mustapha: The Nigerian man saving Boko Haram orphans

Posted September 21, 2017 8:59 a.m. EDT

He has helped to educate and feed hundreds of displaced Boko Haram orphans and his efforts have earned him the United Nations' highest honor.

Nigerian lawyer Zannah Mustapha set up a school in Northeast of the country where he educates the orphans of Boko Haram fighters and the children of dead Nigerian soldiers.

His mission: to embrace peace and reject the hate that has long fueled some of their fathers' actions.

Mustapha, is the first Nigerian recipient of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Nansen Refugee Award, an annual award that honors exceptional service to the plight of displaced people.

Through his school, Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, he provides free education, uniforms, meals and healthcare for the children.

Mustapha said: "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."

He has also played a pivotal role in negotiating the release of some of the abducted Chibok girls.

"It's still one of the highest points in my life," he says of the release. "This is something that I worked for... and I had the confidence that I would get them and that confidence became a reality," he added.

Mustapha has also provided portions of his farmland to some of the people displaced by insurgency in the region.

He will be presented his award at the official ceremony in Geneva on October 2.