Leading transformative change: Nicholas's Journey with FOA

When Nicholas' house burned down, he was left homeless but his friends and extended family rallied around him. This personal experience sparked a passion in him to help others who faced similar hardships. Now he is driven to make a difference in the lives of young boys and girls living on the street, providing hope and support.

Nicholas Quansah, affectionately known as Sir Nico, is the Programs Manager at Future of Africa and he has been an integral part of our family for eight years. In fact, when many street children think of FOA, they think of Sir Nico, his vibrant smile, compassionate words of encouragement, and FOA’s signature clap (Nsem b) tenten). Nicoholas’ journey with FOA is a testament to his passion for social change and his dedication to the wellbeing of young boys and girls living on the street.

When Nicholas first joined FOA, we were focused on building meaningful relationships with young individuals living on the street and finding creative solutions to meet their immediate needs. Today, FOA not only rescues and provides immediate care for street children but also facilitates their healing, reunites them with their families, and equips them with practical jobs skills. Through this evolution, Nicholas has played a pivotal role in expanding the scope and reach of Future of Africa's initiatives.

In this interview, Nicholas reflects on his journey with Future of Africa. 


There is a bit of a backstory behind the reason for joining Future of Africa. In Senior High School during my second year, my family house burnt down and so we lost everything that we had and life became tough. Families and friends came in to support us get a place to stay and we were lucky to have people who cared enough and had the means to support us. So after reflecting on the situation, I realized that there are other people in similar situations who will not be as lucky and their lives may never get back on track. This is when my passion for helping people began. After Senior High School I took a gap year and while teaching at an elementary school, I rallied the teachers that I was working with to visit a charity home in Kumasi called All nations. There, we would organize classes for the orphans for free. This was the little I could do to help the less privileged and from then onwards I was looking for opportunities to help others.

I heard about FOA during my orientation week at Ashesi University. TK, who was the Associate Dean of Students, gave a presentation about Future of Africa. The stories of street children resonated with me and I was eager to help people who were homeless. I thought to myself here is someone that is actively working towards transforming the lives of street children and I wanted to be a part of it. I spoke to him after the presentation and in this conversation, he discussed his dream for FOA and he explained how I could get involved. It was then I immediately knew that this is where I needed to be and so that’s how I joined.

  • I bought into the mission of FOA, and I saw myself as a change maker so I wanted to be part of change FOA would make in the lives of children living in street situations
    Nicholas Quansah


During my first few weeks at street outreach, I learnt quickly that the problems street children faced was very huge, but this didn’t bring my spirits down. The passion in me was still high and the hope that the problem will one day be solved kept me going. So every Saturday I made sure to join TK and other student volunteers to hang out with the street folk, get to know them intimately and be a big brother that would encourage them through tough times.

If not for the support of family and friends, I could have been homeless for a long time. I wanted to also be that helping hand to other people and help them get out of any unfortunate situation.  Through my interactions with the street residents and TK, I came to appreciate FOA’s core belief that all human lives are equal in value and have immense potential.

FOA became dear to my heart, and I decided to commit my time to FOA because I was hopeful that we could eventually assist many vulnerable children come out of this situation. Since then, I have seen the kids grow from a vulnerable state to a state of possibilities; a state of immense potential. This has proved to me that everyone has something special in them, but many would not be fortunate to have the same opportunities to unleash their potential. This is why I care, and I entreat everyone to also care and not be afraid to care.

How has FOA evolved since you joined 

I'm really proud of being a part of FOA and how it has evolved.

In 2017, TK, Nikki and Ashesi students (including me) used to just go to the street to hang out with the young boys and girls. We just wanted to spend time with them so we fed them and had fun and educational activities with them. I can remember there was frequently a lot of chaos during street outreach and so to capture their attention we will do action songs such as ‘my head, my shoulders, my knees, my toes' and then FOA’s signature clap. But there was more we wanted to do for them and then we also realised from our interaction with them that they were yearning for more. So we were motivated to do more because their hope for a better life was growing.

First, we thought of getting them back into school because many of them wanted an education. They were all excited when they started schooling but within a few weeks we realized that they were really struggling because they would go to school and after they go back to sleep on the street. And so we had not solved all the other issues and struggles that came with being on the street. We learnt from this and decided to provide them with a temporary shelter. We built a kiosk made of wood for about six of them so that when they go to school, they'll come back and they stay in this kiosk.

However, there was no one to supervise them and really care for them so this solution was not working well and all of them dropped out of school again. This meant that we needed to go back to the drawing board and find a more appropriate long lasting solution. This is where the idea of having a community center came up. A dedicated home for these street children and youth to have the love and care they needed and to have people guide them towards achieving their hopes and dreams. In 2019, we were able to secure our first community center which we called Norviwo.

Norviwo was now a place they could be taken of the street and they could heal from past trauma and abuses and finally get ready to go back to school or learn a vocational skill. During the first year, there were a lot of incidents that happened that we were not prepared for especially some of the children running away from the center even though they were finally off the street and had a safe place to develop themselves but we adapted to these challenges and learned from them and now we have a model that fully supports their wellbeing and enables them to thrive.


The second time I joined street outreach, there was a lot of chaos with the children; some were running around while others were fighting. So it was difficult giving them instructions for the activities we had planned. I remembered a clap I used at Sunday school to capture peoples attention and I decided to bring up the clap. Everyone was intrigued by the clap and after learning it there was no more chaos so we were able to start our activity. Since then anytime we wanted the children to settle down we used that clap and that has become FOA signature clap.


On a personal basis, I want to see FOA reach the peak of its potential. To be a leading organization that is solving this problem of children and youth living in street situations in Ghana. I’m also hoping that FOA gets to a point where it is playing a significant role in solving other social issues African's face. I believe that since our name is ‘Future of Africa’, we should be touching the lives of people throughout the continent. I envision Africa having great servant leaders that are working together to transform lives. That’s my hope for Future of Africa to be able to realize this vision.

July 9th 2024

Become The Change You Want To See

The future of Africa starts with young people harnessing the fundamentals of social responsibility to drive positive change within themselves.

Donate Volunteer With Us