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The assignment was about community mobilization- encouraging a community of people to address an issue and see that they worked together towards the solution. Professor Ojebode told the fifty of us in the Communication Development class that we were to choose a primary school within the University of Ibadan campus or outside in the city to do a mobilization project about hand washing. Why it is important for kids to wash their hands, when they should wash and what they can wash with if there is no water. My group decided to take another route. We chose St. Matthews Primary School in Ajibode, a neighborhood just on the other side of a very threatening bridge far out in the UI campus. Our topic was wearing shoes, why it’s important and what can happen if you do not wear shoes. Many school children in Nigeria walk barefoot outside regularly.

Women carrying loads, starting the journey over the bridge that connects UI campus at the botanical gardens and Ajibode.

The hot sand can burn their feet, the vast assortment of sharp trash on the ground can cut them, walking through puddles of stagnant water after the rains can give them terrible parasites.

If you step too close to the sides, this is what you could fall into. During the rainy season, the water level reaches the bridge.

The list goes on. On the day of the presentation, we met laughs, lyrical songs, and loud voices of the small school children. Poverty was apparent there. Some kids didn’t have shoes or the money to fix their torn blue and white striped school uniforms. Pictures alone could not capture the mood of that morning, so I made this video to share with everyone.

My group members walking back towards campus after a very successful morning at the school.

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