Nigeria has been ranked among the lowest countries for educational attainment in the world. Paul Kato, Mason High School teacher, has been leading a project to help change this. After working to establish a residential “soccer” school in Nigeria for 10 years, the school officially opened in 2018 and now is celebrating the completion of its first year.
Paul was born in Kwoi, Nigeria and moved to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. “While visiting Nigeria after 15 years away, I was shocked at the living and education conditions there. I knew I had to do something to help,” said Paul. While growing up in Nigeria, Paul and other young people experienced playing soccer as a “safe space”. He wanted to encourage this for other young people in Nigeria. “This is my small attempt to bring about change to north central Nigeria and give the kids a fighting chance for a better life,” he said.
The Kato International Training Academy (KITA) was opened in 2018 with 24 students. Enrollment has begun for next year and the school expects to welcome over 50 students. Additionally, this year, the team is busy upgrading infrastructure and expanding the school farm to meet the food needs of the school.
After moving back and forth between Nigeria and the U.S., Paul graduated from Spring Arbor University and eventually worked to become a high school teacher. Paul is an active member of the Mason community and his love of soccer and passion for education have allowed him to develop the vision and build KITA. His goal is to use the power of education to change the lives of every child who will attend KITA.
The Kato International Training Academy (KITA) is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization and donations can be made through the website. For more information, visit www.kitanigeria.org or www.Facebook.com/KITANigeria.