The Project


Origins

Boniface Ogbus was born on 29 November 1965 in Enugu City, eastern Nigeria, and grew up in a household with three sisters and four brothers. Times were tough. Sending all the children to school was an almost insurmountable challenge for his parents – it was an effort for the family to even afford two meals a day. His father scrimped and saved so that Boniface could finish secondary school. This later allowed him to complete a typesetting apprenticeship in the publishing industry.

In 1991 he sought asylum in Switzerland as a result of the persecution he faced as a Christian in his homeland. Life in Switzerland was hard at first due to the language barrier and cultural differences he had to overcome, and the cold temperatures he had to become accustomed to. In 1992 he married a Swiss woman. This also allowed him to work and make friends with Swiss people who encouraged him to tackle his project “Children of Tomorrow".
During the last several years he has worked for Careport Swiss in the Special Assistant department at Zurich airport, where he takes care of elderly and disabled passengers as well as children travelling alone. He also has duties in the Checkport AG security area at the airport. He now has two sons and two daughters of his own.

From 1996, his dream was to relieve the suffering of African children and to bring some joy to their lives. The death of his parents in 1996 gave him first-hand experience of that painful loss, and a greater appreciation for how much children must suffer without parents to protect them against exploitation and abuse. His own mother had hoped to foster orphans after the Biafran War, when she brought two starving children off the streets and into her home to care for them. However, both died from the effects of malnutrition. This experience had a profound impact on Boniface.

After the death of his parents, Boniface began to write and to design artistic postcards, which helped him to work through his pain and grief. This was where the project started, as his book sales earned him several thousand Swiss francs which he invested in the construction of an orphanage.

In 2008, the orphanage was finally completed after lengthy building and outfitting work thanks to outside funding.

Since September 2008, it has housed 17 orphans and has become a place of happiness and comfort. The children are aged between 3 and 15 years, with staff on hand to take care of their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Financial security

The living costs for each orphan amount to CHF 280 per month and CHF 3,360 per year. This includes:

  • Accommodation, care
  • Housekeeping, food
  • School fees, school uniforms, books
  • Clothing, shoes
  • Medical costs, hygiene
  • Transport, school bus, petrol
  • Administration

Project funding

  • Member contributions (annual, monthly or irregular)
  • Donations from businesses, organisations and private individuals
  • Income from selling typical African goods (fabric, jewellery, etc.) at markets in Switzerland
  • Selling artistic postcards and books written by Boniface Ogbus
  • Organising African evenings (readings and African food) as private or corporate events
  • Dispatching bus and lorry loads of Swiss goods (group consignment) for sale in Nigeria
  • Growing fruit and vegetables in Enugu
  • Farming chickens and fish

Mission statement

  • To set an example of charity and humanity, and give love to the children
  • To help orphans, the underprivileged in our society
  • To perpetuate a certain degree of education and humanity
  • To encourage expatriate Africans to support their helpless brothers and sisters back home

Nigeria

Nigeria is the most densely populated country in Africa, and the eighth most densely populated in the world. It is home to 148 million inhabitants, and is situated in the western part of the African continent. Nigeria is bordered to the east by Cameroon, to the north by Niger, and to the west by Benin.

The capital city is Abuja, and the country's official language is English. The main ethnic groups are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. The Hausa live in the north of Nigeria, and are predominantly Muslims. The eastern part of the country is home to the Igbo, who are mostly Christians. In the eastern part is also where the state of Enugu and the orphanage of “Children of Tomorrow" are located. The Yoruba live in the west around Lagos, with a roughly equal split between Christians and Muslims. Most religious conflicts take place in the north of the country.

Nigeria is subdivided into 30 states. One of these is Enugu, where the “Children of Tomorrow" home is situated. The corresponding capital Enugu was formerly the capital of the eastern province named Biafra, where the infamous Biafran War occurred (1967-1970).

Enugu translates as “hilltop". The first settlers led by British mining engineer Kikson arrived in 1909, and discovered coal deposits around the small town of Udi.

Enugu State is bordered to the east by Abonyi State, to the south by Abia and Imo State, to the north by Benue, to the north-west by Kogi State, and to the west by Anambra. The journey from Enugu to Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, takes eight hours; it takes three hours to reach Port Harcourt, and six to reach the new capital Abuja. Enugu has an area of approximately 8,727.1 square kilometres (3,369.6 square miles).

Economic situation

Nigeria has fertile soil and an excellent climate. The mainstay of its economy is mineral oil, although it is primarily the prosperous upper class that benefits from oil revenue. So the rich are growing increasingly wealthy while the poor become even poorer. Despite the country's abundance of raw materials, the economic situation could hardly be worse. The state makes no contribution towards care for orphans. Their only safety net is private or religious aid organisations.


What the orphans need

Material donations

Donations, which are not directly required for the orphanage, we will send to Nigeria and sell them there for the benefit of the orphanage: TV sets, computers, clothes, etc.

Financial donations

Monetary donations will be 100% in the orphanage and are used for food, infrastructure and the development of the children.

Volunteer work

Would you like to help us with fundraising activities or events, or travel even once to Nigeria? Help us!