Zannah Mustapha, is the first Nigerian recipient of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Nansen Refugee Award, an annual award that honors exceptional service to the plight of displaced people.
Zannah Mustapha runs the only school in Borno State that embraced the children of Boko Haram Militants, Children who had lost their parents and children who were born from Boko Haram rape victims.
The children receive free education, free food and Medical care.
His relentless effort to give assured future for the downtrodden children, which started since 2007, has earned him various international recognition.
Mr. Zannah Mustapha in addition to being a school-founder and peace-maker is also a Lawyer
He started from the little he had
With a heart to give and heal a broken world, his project started out in his home trying to help the poor and orphans. He started Future Prowess school in 2007 with 36 children
By 2009 Boko Haram activities intensified, more kids became desolate and homeless, he expanded to accommodate more kids. Today he accommodates over 500kids with 2000 on the waiting list
All kids were welcome. Including the kids of dead Boko Haram members.
When the Boko Haram insurgency erupted in 2009, the school offered admission to orphans of Boko Haram fighters and the children of dead Nigerian soldiers.
Because in his own words “All we know is that they are children and we have to find a future for them.
Most of the children had terrible stories
About their fathers being hacked to death before their very eyes, some had lost their entire families. Others received hostile treatments from the society because their fathers were insurgents
Zannah Mustapha gave them a place of healing
Through his school, Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, he provides free education and Uniforms for the kids. Mr Mustapha then sought the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which began providing free meals to the pupils. The ICRC soon extended its humanitarian services to the mothers, providing them free food and other items every month.
He was the middle man in the negotiation for the Chibok girls
The Obasanjo regime tried to negotiate peace with the Boko Haram Members, He then set up a group to discuss peace. Mr Mustapha was included in it because of the relationship he had forged with the families of Boko Haram militants.
It worked completely because they saw him as a neutral party.
Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria paid a visit to the Future Prowess School in 2012, he arranged for Mr Mustapha to go to Zurich and Geneva to receive formal training as a mediator.
We were already trying to negotiate peace with Boko Haram before the Chibok girls were kidnapped,” Mr Mustapha said.
In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari told the media that his government was willing to negotiate with “credible” leaders of Boko Haram for the release of the girls.
It was Mr Mustapha and the Red Cross that facilitated the mediation.
Extended Philanthropy work
He encouraged parents of his pupils to form an association which would reach out to other widows and convince them to send their children to his school.
Mustapha has also provided portions of his farmland to some of the people displaced by insurgency in the regiAccolades and awards
Accolades & Awards
He was a finalist for the 2016 Robert Burns humanitarian award, given to those who have “saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through self-sacrifice, selfless service, hands-on charitable or volunteer work, or other acts”.
He was also given a 2017 Aurora Prize Modern Day Hero award, for those whose “life and actions guarantee the safe existence of others”.
The unsung Hero Dialy trust 2014
World Humanitarian award 2016