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Shine On Sierra Leone: Adults

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Children in the West African country of Sierra Leone walk up to nine miles to get to school – on dirt paths lined with deadly snakes, through monsoons, in 100-degree heat with little to no drinking water, past abandoned diamond mines filled with malaria-ridden water, and down roads dominated by sexual predators. Then, after their last class, they have to walk home.

To help raise awareness for the nonprofit Shine On Sierra Leone – an organization dedicated to building new schools that bring education closer to the children’s homes – David&Goliath created a powerful campaign that includes, OOH posters, billboards and an Instagram initiative featuring 9 influencers who tagged each other consecutively in one of the 9 miles of the children’s journey. Influencers include Zoe Kravitz (@zoeisabellakravitz), Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson), Nura Afia (@nuralailalov), Sammy Wilk (@sammywilk), Cree Summer (@iamcreesummer), and Saul Williams (@saulwilliams).

The 9-mile online journey helps contextualize the walk, which can take kids 3-5 hours on foot (and users 3-5 hours to scroll through), for those of us fortunate enough to be living in places where education is more accessible. As the user embarks on their 9-mile scroll, from the village to the school, they experience what the children go through day in and day out.

“We have so much to be thankful for in the US, from work opportunities to technology to clean water and especially access to education. These are liberties we often take for granted,” said David Angelo, Founder & Chairman of D&G. “When I think about the kids in Sierra Leone who, under some of the worst conditions, walk 9 miles each way for an education, I am both inspired and humbled. They show true bravery and self-determination every day. We wanted to shine a spotlight on the plight of these amazing kids by creating a virtual experience of their commute to help raise awareness – and eventually funds – to build a school that’s in their backyard.”

Ultimately, the goal of the campaign is to drive donations in order to raise enough money to build another school closer to the children’s homes—so they have an alternative to working in diamond mines and so they can pursue their dreams, just as we can pursue ours. At the end of the day, no child should have to embark on this arduous journey just for an education. Now, it’s time to let the world experience it for themselves, and ask: How far would YOU go for an education?

“There are children in Sierra Leone who put more mileage on their feet than we do on our cars daily. That’s something we have the power to change,” said Greg Buri, Creative Director, David&Goliath. “Education is a scarce resource there and it shouldn’t be, or anywhere. By partnering with Shine On Sierra Leone, our hope is that will give people a new appreciation for just how far children go for the opportunity to learn and support their journey.”
Credits Other credits

Digital Analytics Manager: Shaun Jacobs

Senior Social Media Strategist: Natalie Gomez

Junior Social Media Strategist: Noelle Suarez

Director of Digital Production: Peter Bassett

Senior Digital Producer: Noah Luger

User Experience Design: John Randall

Sr Digital Designer: Tim Hagan

Digital Designer: Meagan Steincamp

Mix Facility: Lime Studios

Audio Engineer: Peter Lapinski

Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

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