By Lina Kurdi
A boxing star has announced a partnership with a global children’s charity.
British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe announced the partnership with Street Child, which helps children get back into education.
Mr Riakporhe will work with Street Child to raise awareness of the ongoing conflict in north-east Nigeria.
Both of Mr Riakporhe’s parents were born in Nigeria and he still has friends and family there.
The star boxer recently went on a week-long trip with Street Child to Maiduguri, a stronghold of Islamist group Boko Haram, in north-east Nigeria, where he met children benefitting from Street Child programmes, spoke to community leaders and elders about armed gangs recruiting children, and the front line work of local partners.
Mr Riakporhe was a gang member from the age of 12 on the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth. He was stabbed in the heart when a confrontation escalated.
Mr Riakporhe found boxing at age 19 and started a career alongside studying for a university degree, and earned his way to being unbeaten in his first 14 fights with 10 knockouts to his name.
Mr Riakporhe said: “It’s great to be announcing I’m the newest Street Child partner. I wanted to connect back home with my roots and seeing the work with my own eyes made me realise the impact Street Child is having in Nigeria.
“I wanted to align myself with them, they stand for what I stand for.
“As I’ve achieved things and am from the same country, I’ve impacted them by giving the kids something to strive towards and look up to. It was really touching.”
Pictured top: Richard Riakporhe in Nigeria
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