Arriving at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, a few days after a number of Australians had been taken hostage in Nigeria, was nerve-wracking. With the guidance of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, 24/7 security had been organised through the Nigerian Mobile Police (MOPOL) force.
Immersed in Lagos — a city of over 24 million with 50 per cent 19 years or younger — was like no other experience. The major roads are like marketplaces, with vendors rushing in the pathway of oncoming vehicles selling everything from bananas to brooms. It is a city of bustle and noise, with women and men dressed in vibrant flowing garments with headdresses to match. There is elegance and beauty everywhere.
The Foundation worked with two schools there, both in Ondo State. Luyepo Primary School is located in Epe and St Peter’s RCM Primary School in Odoragunshin. The launch of the Nigeria Collection was a magical occasion. It was a formal event where the children performed local cultural dance with the most alluring feather costumes. The children were resplendent and the drums hypnotic, demanding that the audience move with the rhythm while the children immersed themselves in the music and their moment.
Ducere is committed to improving literacy and educational development with support from the Australian Government through Direct Aid Program. It has a secure and concrete working relationship with the Lagos State Government through the State Universal Education Board, whose Executive Chairman attended the launch of the Nigerian collection.
This launch is best described by borrowing words from the story written by Odiete Favour,
‘There was much excitement ... It was a really memorable day!’