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Soccer Star John Mikel Obi Launches Charity to Help Homeless

Nigerian soccer star John Mikel Obi has launched a charity to help homeless people in his native country.

The Mikel Obi foundation launched last Thursday and was created by Obi to help homeless and displaced people in Nigeria, particularly “almajiris,” students of Islam who are dedicated to learning about the faith without the distractions of the outside world. According to Beacon Nigeria they are “known as such because of their huge numbers on the streets, dressed in tattered clothes, unfed, and begging for alms. “

The launch was celebrated at a party for Obi that was also celebrating his win at the 2012 UEFA champions’ league with his club Chelsea. Obi feels like he should be using his success to help people. “What I am trying to do is to give back to society, to the homeless, and to the people out there that can’t afford food, shelter and clothes as well,” Obi said to Punch Nigeria. “This is the reason the foundation is being established. I want to give back to my country; I want to share my success with the less privileged. This is the right time and it is going to be good for me and my career.”

Obi also identifies with the plight of the people he is trying to help on a personal level. “I have been in this situation, I have seen it and I know how it feels growing up in Jos where Almajiris, poor people live,” he said. “We played football and did everything together. I know the pains they feel. It’s even difficult for them to sleep. They are still in my heart and I felt it’s time to take a step.”

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