How does one go from working with street kids in Lagos, Nigeria to a university classroom in Antigonish, Nova Scotia? For Matuluko Ephraim Oduboye it is through a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

Matuluko Ephraim Oduboye (L) with Coady Executive Director Gord Cunningham

A 2014 graduate of Coady Institute’s Diploma in Development Leadership program, Oduboye says Coady’s robust program “inspired a thirst for knowledge.”

“It showed how you can’t look at things with a singular perspective and that we need to open our mind,” he says. “When you do so you develop strong reasoning regarding cultural and developmental issues. Coady was able to help me dig into that.”

After returning to Nigeria, Oduboye worked for Catholic Relief Services, the International Organization for Migration and USAID using his skills to help organizations that were illustrating the ability to work together in the area of economic development. He also took part in a pilot program of using technology to promote accountability with the government that “was very corrupt.”

“I wanted to comeback almost immediately. It was a beautiful experience and I felt that to be adequately equipped with the knowledge for development it was essential to develop myself further.”

Another program looked at ways to help those suffering from malaria by preventing the spread and addressing the cause. 

“Instead of spending money on buying drugs and losing work time because you are sick, let’s prevent it,” Oduboye says. “While I was there we distributed 20 million nets across the state that I worked.”

Oduboye attends a recent Global Issues Forum at Coady Institute

Yet the thirst for knowledge remained. He returned to the StFX campus in the fall of 2018 to major in Development Studies.

“I wanted to comeback almost immediately,” Oduboye says. “It was a beautiful experience and I felt that to be adequately equipped with the knowledge for development it was essential to develop myself further.”

While migrating and being an international student from a developing country is usually very difficult because one has to illustrate the ability to pay, Oduboye says he was fortunate. His record of being at Coady and for taking a human rights training program in Montreal allowed him to establish a level of trust to apply and obtain a visa.

“I love the knowledge, the environment,” Oduboye says. “I love the people they are beautiful. I love my own development. I love my professors and what I am learning about development.”

While it is challenging to be apart from his wife and child, Oduboye has received great support from his extended family and the StFX community. He says the professors are welcoming and that he believes he provides a unique perspective in classroom conversations such as the global issues forum on climate held with development studies students and Coady participants.

Oduboye is also embracing Xaverian experience by volunteering with X-Project as well as the Youth Activism Conference where he helped in training students to be involved in social justice issues and to seek social reform.

“I want to make people conscious which is key to internalizing what we are learning and for having the impact that we want to accomplish.”

He says the practical experience at Coady and the more academic experience at StFX has given him the best in education and is empowering. He hopes to graduate in the Fall of 2020 and return to Nigeria and utilize what he has learned in communities to help them identify their strengths and make them self-sustaining.

“I love the knowledge, the environment,” Oduboye says. “I love the people they are beautiful. I love my own development. I love my professors and what I am learning about development.”

Coady International Institute

St. Francis Xavier University
4780 Tompkins Lane
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
Canada

Phone: (902) 867-3960
Phone: 1-866-820-7835 (within Canada)
Fax: (902) 867-3907

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