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To me, Africa has always been objectified – in the media, in conversations, in classrooms etc. When I arrived Duke, I was appalled to find that the stereotypical narratives of Africa existed at a world class institution. I found myself constantly disputing claims made about Africa and Africans – we are lazy, starving and in great need of help by the West. Although I grew up in Africa’s largest developing city with huge material disparities, I was fortunate enough to have access to clean water, food and an education. It was frustrating and exhausting for me to constantly challenge the ‘single story’ views that my peers and even professors had of me, and I struggled daily to remove the label placed on me the moment I introduced myself as a Nigerian. From explaining to people that I did not teach myself English as a child to defending the claim that African countries cannot survive on aid, I became exhausted with challenging the single story. However, after spending merely two weeks in Cabo Verde on a service learning project, I have started to fully acknowledge my privilege; that even I held onto a single story – my story.   Undeniably, I have had to hustle and work through many difficulties living in Nigeria but I have done this with a roof over my head, and a strong social network, which I now realize are invaluable. This is not the same story for the children at Insituto Caboverdiano da Criança e Adoloscente (ICCA) with whom I have formed strong connections with over the past few weeks. ICCA functions to empower children in Cabo Verde who have experienced domestic violence, neglect and/or abuse.   Hearing their stories and spending time with them opened my eyes to the other realities that exist for many others. I was particularly moved by the story of a young boy who has spent all of his life in one of the ICCA centers after he was removed from his home. Adoption is a difficult and tedious process in Cabo Verde and at age 9, he has an even slimmer chance of meeting a new family. I have always been aware of that disparities exist, and that many children all over the world face neglect and abuse and do not always have access to material resources and social support. However, my experience thus far has revealed a new level of cognizance that can only occur when you truly immerse yourself in the lives and stories of others. While I will continue to portray the continent in a positive light, I have learned that I must also fully acknowledge the plight of others and my own privilege.