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.
The living costs for each orphan amount to CHF 280 per month and CHF 3,360 per year.
- Accommodation, care
- Housekeeping, food
- School fees, school uniforms, books
- Clothing, shoes
- Medical costs, hygiene
- Transport, school bus, petrol