Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving inspires many with his play on the court, but his actions off it have changed lives across the world.
Irving’s path recently intersected with Cameron Mofid, a 22-year-old who graduated as valedictorian in his MBA class at University of Miami in 2022. Mofid is on a mission to become one of the youngest people ever to visit every country in the world and has seen 119 out of 195 countries.
Recently, his travels took him backpacking across West Africa. It was here that Mofid came across The Part of Solution Nursery and Primary School in Lagos, Nigeria, and The United People Home, an orphanage in Accra, Ghana.
“While exploring Lagos’ water slum of Makoko, I was deeply inspired when visiting a local primary school and spending some time with the students,” Mofid said. “Despite their limited access to educational materials, clean drinking water, and other vital supplies, they showed a remarkable enthusiasm for learning and life.” said Mofid.
“I finished my time in West Africa in Ghana. A friend from university connected me to Marcus Naazii, the founder of an orphanage in one of Accra’s poorest neighborhoods. Visiting the orphanage was the highlight of my time in Ghana. Marcus’ enthusiasm for providing love and care for the orphans was infectious. With very limited resources at his disposal, he does everything in his power to improve the lives of the children under his care.”
Mofid, inspired to help those he met at these institutions overseas, launched a GoFundMe upon his return to the U.S. to help raise funds for both the school and orphanage.
“Organizing this fundraiser was really the least I could do. I’m extremely grateful for all the support I’ve received and to be in a position where I can help,” Mofid said.
Mofid’s original goal was $5,000, which he surpassed in the first week, reaching $10,000 thanks to donations from more than 200 people.
One day, Mofid was shocked to wake up to a single donation of $45,000, courtesy of Irving. The impact of his efforts was immense.
For The Part of Solution Nursery and Primary School, this means clean drinking water — enough for a water tank. Additionally, all 351 students in the school and the 30 orphans who stay there full time have shoes, uniforms, books and backpacks.
“I didn’t know who Kyrie was until he donated to our community, but I know now that Kyrie is such a generous man with the heart of humanity,” said 25-year-old Sunday Shemende, the primary school’s director. “He is looking out for us when everyone else has forgotten about us.
“Kyrie’s donation will change the lives of not only the kids, but all those living in Makoko. On behalf of the 250,000 people living in Makoko, I thank you with all the love in our hearts.”
Shemende said the school seeks to give the children “good education and give them hope that they can be successful leaders in life.”
“We want them to learn the values of honesty, hard work, kindness, generosity, and responsibly to themselves and their community,” she added.
Kids at the school are grateful for Irving’s efforts as well.
Segun Awhanjogbe, a 12-year-old orphan and student at the school, wants to learn as much as possible and become a leader for his people in Makoko. He was touched by Irving’s gesture.
“I was extremely excited when I found out a famous basketball player donated to us. I want to say thank you to him for looking out for us,” Awhanjogbe said.
Mary Aydie, a 12-year-old orphan at the school, said Irving’s donation helps get her a step closer to her dream of becoming a doctor in Makoko, which does not have a hospital.
“I didn’t know who Kyrie was until our director told us the news. I want to thank Kyrie for his kindness, and God bless him and his family.” she said. Neither Awhanjogbe nor Aydie were familiar with Irving prior to his generosity. Now, all of their hearts are connected.
Marcus Naazii, director of The United People Home, praised Irving’s donation as well.
“This generosity is a dream come true,” Naazii said. “We have always held the mission to provide a haven for our children, who were left to face lives by themselves with little or no care or love. We believe that every child has an untapped potential that can only be unveiled through nurturing, care and love, which is what the United People Home seeks to serve the country’s homeless street children with hope.”
Naazii said he saw people in Ghana wearing Irving’s jersey before, but he didn’t know much about him beyond that. Naazii praised Irving’s generosity, which has inspired many people within this African community.
“All of our orphans are worthy of all the love in the world, and they deserve to be cared for and supported through their lives,” Naazii said. “They will grow to become leaders in society who can positively influence others. By knowing love and believing in their dreams, they can become anything they dream of. We are here to support them in all their endeavors.” Naazii said.
Irving said his family ties to Ghana and his desire to help others led to his act of generosity.
“There’s just so much going on in our world that I just try to do little acts of kindness every single day. There’s so much going on at times that it could be very confusing and emotional, especially growing up as a melanated man,” Irving said. “Over in Accra and Ghana, it was my family members over there. I have brothers and sisters that live in Accra, Ghana, and I’ve helped out one of my other young kings from New Jersey who is from one of the tribes over there and I have uncles who have gone over there and been initiated into the tribe.
“It’s more of a family atmosphere that I’m really investing in: our village and our tribe. The messages really go a long way, just because I know it’s making an impact. The people running it have not been the best quality of people, so I do my best to read people’s foundational messages and their missions. It’s not just going to GoFundMe.
“I actually go to their websites and try to do research on who is on the GoFundMe pages because it’s a public platform. Anybody could get got at any time. I just do my best to do research, and be a beacon of light for humanity as best I can outside of the court.”
A shared, genuine effort to help others has connected Mofid and Irving, and their connection has positively altered the trajectories of many people across the world.
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If you’d like to support in building up these communities and creating positive impact, the link to Cameron’s GoFundMe can be found here.
Progress of the impact and utilizations of the donations will all be tracked on Cameron’s Instagram, @cameronmofid