Boy doing his homework under a streetlight goes viral, and a millionaire
This modern fairytale
inspires hope. It sounds
like a fairytale or maybe the plot of a Charles Dickens novel — but
it’s a true story.
It began when Víctor Martín Angulo Córdova, an
11-year-old boy from Moche, Perú, caught the attention of the officers
monitoring the city’s security cameras. A street camera captured video
of the sixth grader sitting and lying down in the road under a
streetlamp doing his homework.
Soon the images and the back-story went public on news
outlets and social media. As reported on the Perfil website, Víctor’s
family didn’t have electricity, but the boy was determined to get an
education so he could grow up to be a police officer to “fight
corruption, thieves, and drugs.”
According to Perfil, the reason the family didn’t have
electricity was twofold: a lack of money to pay the bills, and more
importantly, the fact that they didn’t have documentation to prove the
ownership of their home, which was needed for the contract to install
The first person to come to the rescue was the mayor of the
town, Arturo Fernández Bazán, who brought Víctor a package of school
supplies and helped the family get the paperwork done so they could
acquire the deed to their property and get electricity installed.
That in itself was a big step forward, but only the first.
It was then that Yaqoob Yusuf Ahmed Mubarak entered the scene. He’s a
31-year-old millionaire importer and chocolatier from Bahrain, who
during his childhood wasn’t lacking money, but affection. According to
the Clarin news site, Mubarak saw some of his childhood friends die from
drugs and crime in his youth and he suffered from depression.
Mubarak’s painful background gifted him with empathy and a
desire to help others, so Víctor’s determination to study and be
responsible in the midst of poverty moved his heart. In an interview, he
says that under the same conditions, he never would have had the
motivation to study. So, Mubarak traveled from his small island country
(a quarter of the size of Rhode Island) in the Persian Gulf to Moche,
Peru, to meet the boy in person.
Photos of the encounter show the Bahraini businessman
hugging Víctor, posing with his family, and lying on the ground reading
books with him, apparently imitating Victor’s position when he was
caught by the security cameras studying by streetlight.
Mubarak was struck by the poverty in which the boy and his
peers lived and studied. He decided to rebuild Víctor’s family’s
humble dwelling as a two-story home, help Víctor’s mother start a
small business, and give $2,000 to the boy (in his mother’s care). Víctor
pointed out that he has many classmates who are in a similar situation,
so Mubarak also pledged to remodel and expand the school Víctor
attends, adding, among other things, a modern computer lab. The only
thing Mubarak is asking in return: that Víctor continue to be a humble,
extraordinary person who loves his mother and works hard at his
Reportedly, Mubarak is having some difficulty making the
donation to the school, due to bureaucratic obstacles on the part of the
Peruvian government. Let’s hope that the obstacles can be overcome so
this fairytale can fully come true.