Giving back to the those in need, especially within our own communities that we grew up in, is so important to the overall growth of the well-being of the community. Oumarou Idrissa, CEO and Founder of Afrikicks, is doing just that.
Mr. Idrissa was born and raised in Niger, West Africa. As a child he grew up with very little. He did not have shoes to wear on his feet. Most children and adults in his village walk barefoot everywhere — through unbearable roads, unpaved pavements, disposed trash, in the dirt subjecting them to potential pain, infections and disease.
After he had visited his hometown for the first time after several years of living in America, he realized, some of them may take a pair of shoes for granted, but for others shoes can make all the difference. Upon his return to the USA, Afrikicks was in formation.
Initially, Afrikick’s mission was to collect gentle worn shoes through donation, ship it to Africa and distribute them to only members of Idrissa’s immediate family and village. However, as his company has continued to collect more and more shoes, progressively every year since 2014, they have expanded to other villages, schools and the nearby country Nigeria.
“It is beyond a humbling realization that through distribution of sneakers more children and young adults are participating in sports- in schools and in communities at large,” he stated.
I recently interviewed Mr. Idrissa where he chatted more on the mission of Afrikicks, as well as how the movement and career of the late Kobe Bryant has impacted his philanthropy works. Listen to the interview above.