Small dream becomes big reality: Oakdale man spearheads efforts to ship 44,000 books to Nigeria

After traveling to Nigeria in the summer of 2011, Oakdale resident Atare Agbamu came home with a mission.

Agbamu, who grew up in Delta State, Nigeria, had returned to his homeland after the death of his mother, and while there he visited Chinkelly Schools, founded by his distant cousin, Veronica Ogbuagu.

The school facilities in the city of Ekpan were world class, Agbamu noted, but something very important missing from the library -- books.

"The shelves were bare," Agbamu recalled, noting that he immediately went back to Ogbuagu's office to ask her what he could do to help. Stocking a school library is expensive, Ogbuagu told him, and when people in Africa are battling hunger and disease, books are often a luxury out of reach.

"Africa struggles with poverty and famine," Agbamu said. "But there's another famine that most people don't know: people starving of mind food."