Adufah, 27, lives in Chicago but often goes back to Ghana, his home country, to volunteer as a primary school teacher. “People were texting and tagging me in the memes,” he said. “Some were negative and that’s not what I saw in Jake. It’s like having a relative and everyone’s making fun of them.”
But he quickly noticed that “when it comes down to the work, Jake’s work really stood [out] … which shows you don’t have to be the loudest in the class” to make an impact.
“The fund doesn’t just affect Jake,” Adufah said. “It will also help his friends. When I first saw the [number of] likes on the memes, I thought, What if these people could help Jake?“
He said he wants to support “child education in rural areas like Asempanaye, [which is] far from the main town”.
Adufah, who is in touch with Jake’s parents and his school in Asempanaye to keep them in the loop, said Jake has no idea he became an internet meme. He said the school is also amazed by the reaction to Jake’s picture and the willingness to help support children in their village.
To date, $9,265 (£7,717) has been raised.