Making an Impact in Togo

Brian Lamar Nixon discusses that as NC State student body president he developed a project to send school supplies to a university in the country of Togo.

Interview on 2011-09-09


00:00:00.000 I guess I'll start that one off by saying the reason NC State's so dear to me and I say that the DNA of NC State is all me is because,
00:00:10.942 where can a guy walk from a little town called Denver, North Carolina and walk into an institution and in five years get to sit on the Board of Trustees of a major institution,
00:00:24.127 be able to be the chief executive officer of the student body of a major institution, be chief financial officer for them, but also to travel,
00:00:34.201 because through the program I also had an opportunity to go to Africa. We sent some students to Africa. I got to go over there for about a week's journey.
00:00:42.045 We went to Benin, Togo, down there on the Ivory Coast, and that was a major experience. That was a life-changing experience to actually go to Africa, go to the villages,
00:01:07.406 to experience what life was over there and to try to do something when you got back. So one of the things we wanted to do is that the things
00:01:09.179 that we have here in this country that a lot of people take advantage of or take for granted is just having paper, having access to books, having writing utensils.
00:01:18.011 So we started a project called Project Togo where we would set up different areas across campus and if at the end of the year when we're all clearing stuff out
00:01:27.896 and getting ready to chuck it in the trashcan or whatever, we said if you've got any notebooks, no matter if it's got fifty pages or a hundred pages,
00:01:35.204 if you got stuff-tear the stuff out with your name on it, but if you've got blank notebooks drop them in there, if you've got pens, pencils.
00:01:42.136 If you've got textbooks that we know next year are not going to be-. We've got a new edition coming up and you're not going to get anything when you trade them back in,
00:01:49.688 all they're going to do is get burned or recycled, we collected those and we were able to collect several pretty large containers and ship them over to Togo
00:02:00.788 for the University of Benin to start their own little library kind of thing. We did that a couple of times, we had two phases of that, so we sent them a lot of paper,
00:02:13.510 a lot of pencils, and the university was very gracious. Whatever we collected they also helped with some matching material. So they were able to have books,
00:02:26.422 they were able to have paper, pens, things they did not have, and the people over there were very, very appreciative.