Although the gathering was small, WSU student and member of Black Scholars United, Eddie Baxter still brought a lot of heart during his presentation to students on Wednesday.
“I want to say that Weber State gave to Africa, but Africa also gave something even more,” Baxter said of his experiences in Mozambique, a country in southeast Africa, last year.
The WSU Center for Diversity and Unity held the “Mozambique: Through the Eyes of a Weber State Student” presentation on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
During the event, students got a chance to witness a rare glimpse of life in Mozambique.
Through Baxter’s experiences, students also learned about the Mozambique Women’s Center recently built to help oppressed women throughout Africa.
With a lot of fundraising, Baxter and his classmates were able to come up with enough money to not only help pay for the women’s center but also give them the opportunity to build it brick-by-brick.
“My job was to lay cement all day,” Baxter said. “I stuck it out and I made things happen.”
Originally a meat-packing facility, the Mozambique Women’s Center is now a place for women to earn money for their children to go to school.
According to the No Poor Among Us organization that specializes in helping Mozambique, a lot of young girls don’t go to school due to cost and gender issues.
Martin Luther King “Day of Service” Chair and Vice President of Black Scholars United Kelsey Northrop said the presentation was a great way to bring awareness to the issues in Mozambique.
“The goal was to try to make sure students saw that people are making a difference,” Northrop said. “I think that people can be humbled by the conditions that these women and families live in.”
According to Alicia Giralt, Women and Gender Studies Program director, families in Africa endure serious diseases like malaria and HIV.
Giralt also said families face a lack of good jobs, scarce resources and poor water sanitation.
However, Baxter said despite their harsh living conditions, the people still had a great sense of appreciation for all they had, especially the new women’s center.
“I was upset that I could sit at home and complain about so much,” Baxter said. “There’s people here playing and enjoying themselves. And I wanted to share with you all their happy smiles.”
Both the Center for Diversity and Unity and Black Scholars United continue working to support and improve communities throughout the world.
Northrop said the presentation was a great way to bring inspiration to students to make a difference no matter what the circumstances.
“We try and branch out and help Weber State students become more aware of ways to make a difference in communities,” Northrop said.
Northrop also encouraged students to branch out and look for different opportunities to get involved, not just in far countries like Africa but in small home communities as well.
“I feel like a lot of students think the opportunities have to come to them,” she said. “It’s really important to do your part as a student and just get out there and look.”
Baxter felt his trip to Mozambique will remain a big part of his life.
“I just wanted to say that the trip changed a lot about my life and I know that there are a lot of opportunities at Weber State that we can apply to make a difference,” he said.
A full documentary screening of the Mozambique experience will be held on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. All students are welcome to come to the Wildcat Theater to enjoy refreshments and learn more about life in Mozambique.