He’s 17 and on a mission to change the lives of street kids

James Okina is a teenager helping Nigeria’s street kids. After being inspired to make a difference, James paid about $50 to cover 1 year of school for 2 children. It was after this that he founded his non profit, Street Priests, in August 2015.


He didn’t grow up in the best of situations. At 8 years old, he turned to gang “for a sense of belonging after his parents separated.” Thanks to his upbringing, James found it easy to relate to the children. He started “visiting alleyways and notorious neighborhoods in Calabar to spend more time with street kids”.

"A lot of people say that name Street Priests is too religious, we need to change it," he reflects. "But I explain that we are priests, but our church is on the street. We have a calling, like typical priests — to reach out to children on the streets."

Street Priests is now run by 7 volunteers, all between the ages of 18 and 22. Basic Rights Council Initiative is a child-rights group that provides mentoring and support. Through fundraising events, they are able to raise money for school fees. Street Priests is leaving a positive impact on the children in Calabar and people are taking notice.

There’s an estimated 10 million children who are not in school. How can we help them? Do you like Okina’s idea?

you can follow street priests on twitter by clicking the link below! 


Jessica Catalina