Ensuring Ferdinand's Future

One of the most difficult places in the world to live in are the slums of Makoko, Nigeria. Popularly dubbed as the "Venice of Africa", the community is built above water, making the living conditions there harrowing to witness. Often times children will grow up surrounded by polluted water and are forced to become fishermen as adults.

"A slum is just a place. It does not define the people who live there." - Tunde Onakoya, Chess In Slums Founder
Chess In Slums Africa is our nonprofit based out of Nigeria with aims to prove just that: that it is possible to do great things from a small place. We proved that Makoko was no exception by taking chess to the community and watching as they all became kings and queens in their own right over our two-week trip.

One boy, who entered the lessons during the first week, actually has cerebral palsy, and deeply inspired us with his quick learning and deep understanding of the game very fast. Ferdinand turned out to be a chess savant, and even went on to win his section in our chess tournament in the final day of the journey.


It broke our heart to not only learn that the boy had never had any formal education, but that he ever even got the opportunity to get educated from the start. With such amazing potential for a bright future, we are never going to give up on him. We promise.

This GoFundMe to support his life is just the start, of which we will use the money for things like a stable home, food, chess, and as a way to fund his learning.

Before concluding, I would like to give you one last anecdote.

Ferdinand actually did not know any English at all and throughout this project we would rely on friends to help translate for him. However, during our final days of the project, he spoke his first English word to our team...

"Champion"

 
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Organizer

Aaron Thompson 
Organizer
Santa Rosa, CA