By Lawrence Bilal Audu
In the wake of the prolonged Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria, Sheikh Goni Umar Goni Usman has emerged as a beacon of hope for vulnerable children, particularly those orphaned by the conflict. Drawing inspiration from the Hadith of the Blessed Prophet Muhammad SAW, which emphasizes the rewards of assisting orphans, Sheikh Goni has dedicated himself to combining compassion and passion to bring meaning and opportunity to the lives of those in need.
As the leader of Al Ansar Masjid, one of Maiduguri’s largest mosques, Sheikh Goni’s deep-seated passion for humanity led him to establish Mera’j International School. This institution stands as a testament to his commitment to providing free education to over a hundred orphans, spanning nursery, primary, and secondary levels. Notably, the school also seeks to complement the ongoing efforts of the Borno State government in the realm of post-conflict education.
Reflecting on his extraordinary endeavour, Sheikh Goni revealed, “We currently have one hundred beneficiaries at the school, with myself as the sole sponsor from my personal income. Additionally, five of the hundred are graciously supported by a generous benefactor. I personally cover the annual rent for the premises used by the school.”
“The situation we are in currently requires serious assistance, each person wherever his location is there are less privileged and orphans thus they should scout to assist however little, wherever you are you should turn and make a glance at your neighbour and then assist with what you can.”
“Now especially our one hundred orphans who are in need of assistance the door is open with whatever assistance there may be in order to get good quality education whether to be sponsored by whatever means and especially the school is rented these orphans will be at great ease when they get a permanent site to actualize their scramble for knowledge.
“Where only a person sponsors them there are series of events in life like illness, lack of finance or even death and if God forbid the latter happens then the sponsorship stops and the orphans have not actualize their potential. Anyone who desires to assist will really go a long way and Allah will give him or her bounties.”
For Sheikh Goni, his mission transcends mere philanthropy; it is a call to action for humanity. He fervently advocates for individuals to look beyond themselves and extend a helping hand to the less privileged, particularly orphaned children. By affording them access to education and opportunities, Sheikh Goni believes that society at large can be transformed into a better, more compassionate place for all.
Sheikh Goni’s tireless dedication to uplifting the lives of vulnerable children amidst the aftermath of conflict serves as an inspiring testament to the enduring power of compassion and education in rebuilding communities and nurturing hope for the future.