Mediator wins award for giving Boko Haram victims free education

ABUJA A Nigerian lawyer who helped to secure the release of dozens of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 was on Monday announced the winner of a United Nations prize for providing an education to children uprooted by violence in north-east Nigeria.

Mr Zannah Mustapha is the founder of two schools that offer free education, meals and healthcare to pupils, and even enrol children born to Boko Haram fighters to learn alongside those orphaned by the Islamist group's eight-year insurgency.

The Nansen Refugee Award, which is bestowed by the UN refugee agency, has been won in the past by Eleanor Roosevelt and Luciano Pavarotti, and the winner receives $150,000 to fund a project complementing his existing work.

"I am exceedingly happy and motivated to do more ... I will scale up my efforts," Mr Mustapha told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state in north-east Nigeria.

"Some of the students that started in my school have graduated, and they are now going into university - I can use this money to help them complete the cycle," he added. - REUTERS

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