Opportunity to Learn (NIG)

Boys who attend free community school with Michael, run by volunteers in Ago Okota, Lagos Slum, Nigeria.

10-year-old Michael is a vulnerable child living in the Lagos slum of Ago Okota. In 2010 when his mother could no longer afford to feed and keep him, Michael was given away to another poor family. His job was to work for the family, walking the streets selling rice and beans and passing the income over to his new guardians. He dreamed about attending school, but wasn’t allowed. He had joined the tragic situation of thousands of children walking the streets of Lagos: modern-day slavery.

Eventually Michael got to know other kids in the community and noticed two very poor brothers his age attending school each day, carrying note books and wearing new uniforms. When Michael inquired the boys shared about the group of local Christian volunteers running a school for the community’s most vulnerable children, feeding and advocating for their health and safety. That day Michael abandoned his work duties, to follow the boys to the school. Later that night when the situation was discovered by his guardians, Michael was beaten and eventually excluded from the family.

We Care immediately took responsibility for Michael, caring for his physical needs—food and shelter—and his spiritual and emotional needs—loving him like a found son. It’s an incredible responsibility for the Care Workers, many of whom carry their own heavy burdens of poverty, but it’s the necessary path to bringing the love of Christ to the most vulnerable in their community. Hands at Work began supporting the We Care team in 2009: mobilising the local churches to support and join the work, providing training and mentorship, and sharing their story to people around the world.