#BringBackOurGirls – What’s Happening and What You Can Do To Help

michelle-obama-bringbackourgirls

It’s been over three weeks since nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Nigeria in the middle of the night by terrorists who threatened to sell them into marriage and modern slavery. If you’re like us, you might’ve felt utterly appalled by the horrific situation but left feeling practically useless being half a world away. We’re here to tell you there are ways we can all make a difference and help to #BringBackOurGirls.

A brief recap of the terrible events: On Tuesday, April 15th, members of Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist terrorist organization stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria and kidnapped almost 300 girls, subsequently threatening to sell them into marriage and slavery. Over three weeks have passed and the girls are still missing, some rumored to have already been married off to several men within the terrorist group.

About Boko Haram: The organization is strongly against the education of girls, and education in general. The name “Boko Haram” translates to “Western education is a sin.” Founded 12 years ago by Mohammed Yusuf the jihadist group believes Nigeria should be a strict and “pure” Islamic state. Yusuf was assassinated by Nigerian police in 2009, but the group has remained active under new leader Abubakar Shekau. Over the course of their existence Boko Haram have wreaked havoc and violence all over the region.

What’s happening now?: So far, Nigerian government response has been very slow, but thanks to social media and the internet’s push to #BringBackOurGirls, the world is taking notice and calling for help, joining the many concerned parents and citizens of Nigeria. The likes of social justice warrior Malala Yousafzai, the First Lady Michelle Obama and even American celebrities have gotten involved showing their support online.

malala-yousafzai-bringbackourgirls

The #RealMenDontBuyGirls campaign has also returned as a trending topic.

The U.S. has said they will not send any military troops at this time, but are assisting with intelligence and sending a team of advisors to help.

In the meantime, Boko Haram has attacked another village killing at least 150 and up to 300 villagers near where the schoolgirls were kidnapped.

What can we do?: It may feel like there’s not much we can do, but if it weren’t for social media, we probably still wouldn’t have heard about what happened. Girl Rising, in collaboration with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, suggests we keep the moment going by:

1. SHARING YOUR VOICE

  • Sharing the message on social media with hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. 
  • Sharing the “Call to Action” Google Hangout (video below) on facebook and social media.
  • Changing your avatar and profile picture to show solidarity and to support the cause. Find images and stats to share and post here.

bringbackourgirls

 

“The campaign has helped to galvanize action within the country and has raised tremendous international media attention,” the Human Rights Watch said in an email to ABC News today. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has “fast became the symbol of the people’s anger and frustration for the perceived ineffectual handling of the situation by the government.”

2. DONATING

  • Donate to the emergency fund at Catapult.org where 100% of donations will go to organizations focused on girls’ education programming and advocacy in Nigeria. Text BRINGBACK to 50555 to give $10 or you can donate online.
  • (Note: Malala Yousafzai has also started a fund where 100% of donations will go towards local Nigerian nonprofit organizations focused on education and advocacy for girls and women.)

3. WRITING AND RALLYING

We would add that, overall, participating and staying active, talking to your friends and family about it, informing them of the situation and encouraging them to stay active as well is how we can keep the pressure on to help free the girls and hopefully prevent something like this from happening again in the future. Let them know you won’t stand by and let this happen, in Nigeria, or anywhere else. The education and safety of girls around the world is something we should all be fighting for as a universal right not a privilege.

Further reading:

Nigeria Action Pack – Girl Rising

Everything You Need To Know About #BringBackOurGirls – Hello Giggles

Names of the kidnapped girls - Feministing

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>