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Student-Athlete Starts Fund to Help Nigerian Communities Affected by COVID-19

Duke ECE undergraduate student and basketball player Onome Akinbode-James is leveraging social media to raise funds for those struggling to survive

When third-year electrical and computer engineering student Onome Akinbode-James saw low-income communities in Nigeria struggling to survive during COVID-19-caused lockdowns, she felt compelled to act. The native of Abeokuta, Nigeria came up with the idea to create a video on social media to support those affected by COVID-19 in her home country. 

Akinbode-James is a Duke basketball player, and a teammate, Jennifer Ezeh, who is also from Nigeria, was struck by Onome's idea. Together, the two students started a fund called COVID Fund Naija to support low-income communities back home. 

So far, the two teammates have raised over $3,000 (which is $1.2 million in Nigerian currency) to help provide food and resources.