Thursday 1 September 2011

Meet the Acorns

Meet Fatima. She is a pupil or an 'acorn' at The Little Acorns Educational Foundation. Her father is a gateman or maiguard as they are called in Nigeria. Fatima comes to school with Blessing (on the right.) They share the same okada.

Blessing used to be able to walk to The Little Acorns school because her mother lived in a shack on a property that was not her own. One day, the owner of the property decided he wanted to use it and so he drove all his tenants away. Blessing now comes to school on an okada which she also shares with, Peace. It looks a little like the lower image when they go home.


The acorns eat well when they are at school.
They often ask for seconds. The proprietress thinks that for many, this is the only square meal they will get.

The foundation is run by sponsorship. It costs 120,000 Naira to sponsor a child for a year. That comes to almost 500 pounds per annum. The sponsors take a real interest in their acorns. They are sent report cards and photographs every half term. Many sponsors ask for children with specific traits.

Meet Aliyah. Her sponsor, being a pretty woman, naturally wanted a pretty girl. I couldn't decide on what photo of Aliyah to put. She's very photogenic, like her sponsor.

Other sponsors have asked for sharp children. A sponsor who used to be a teacher asked for a bright child and was given Moyo.

I wonder what she was thinking when this picture was taken. She's only 3. Sarah, lower image, is another sharp one. Some people choose to sponsor an acorn because they want a different child. One sponsor specifically asked to have a Hausa girl. She was given Fatima. Fatima is not the only child whose father is a maiguard. Peter's father is also a gateman. In fact, Peter's father is my landlord's gateman.

I saw him going to school some mornings while I was in Nigeria. He did not look like his father was a gateman. He looked like his father was the owner of the house he stepped out of. That's the vision behind the Little Acorns School Foundation. To provide these children with a standard and quality of education to rival any private primary school in Lagos. On T.V, they tell you that just 5 pounds a month can educate a child in Africa. Well the proprietor of the acorns wants to give them better than 5 pounds a month because she thinks the future of Nigeria is worth more than that. Just to feed the 20 acorns (10 boys, 10 girls) costs 60,000 Naira a month. Their uniforms were all bought in England. One sponsor has remarked that the children don't look like they are from lower income families.

The acorns really like school. I'm not just saying that because my mother started the foundation. One acorn called Hafiz, used to cry whenever the school day ended and his guardian came to pick him up.

The child on the left is Hafiz. The one on the right is Mr. Boss's acorn.

A birthday at the L.A.E.F.

The boys.
To read the L.A.E.F mission statement, click here.
To contact the L.A.E.F you can email


  1. Aaawwww! What a lovely concept. i hope the foundation gets more sponsorship.

  2. How do we get more information on LAEF ?

  3. You can email any questions you have to e.g to find out about how to go about sponsorship or if you want to fund raise for the organisation. Also, I'm guessing you read the document I attached on scribd just to see the aims and ideology behind the foundation. Thanks anonymous.

  4. This is so inspiring. I have dreamt of things like this and hope to be a part of this or similar initiatives. Your blog is a breath of fresh air!!! Please keep writing. I look forward to reading your book(s).


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