Ousman Umar, 2021 Princess of Girona Foundation Social Award

The winner was chosen for “constructing a transformative project that brings education, technology and alliances together to deliver solutions to the migratory phenomenon”. The jury also praised him for his “exemplary work, resilience, spirit of self-improvement and for seizing the opportunities offered by society through great personal effort”.

Ousman Umar: the story of a child who arrived in Spain in a small boat and today runs an NGO that wants to change the paradigm of humanitarian aid.

Ousman Umar - Techiman (Ghana), 1988
Born in Techiman (Ghana), at the age of thirteen he embarked on a journey towards Europe in search of a better future. Four years later, after crossing the Sahara on foot and the Mediterranean in an open boat, and watching most of his travelling companions die, he finally landed in Spain. After sleeping rough for several months, a family kindly took him in. From that moment on he was able to focus on his studies, learning English, Spanish and Catalan. He went on to graduate in Public Relations, Marketing and Business Administration and has a master’s in International Cooperation from ESADE Business School.

Ousman is the founder of NASCO Feeding Minds, an NGO that runs educational projects and IT classrooms in rural parts of Africa, and seeks to raise awareness of the problems of immigration while advocating training in new technologies as the best route out of poverty. In 2019, he published the book Viaje al país de los blancos (Plaza & Janés, 2019), in which he tells the story of his harrowing journey to Europe. Currently, he is working full-time for his NGO and gives talks at companies and schools all over the world.


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