I have been meaning to post about this for several days now, but I figured Mother’s Day is actually kind of perfect timing.
As a mom, it’s difficult to hear stories involving words like…kidnapping…murder…sexual abuse. It’s hard for anyone to hear that, but now there’s the added terror of picturing your own child as the victim. It’s gotten so bad that I can’t even watch Law & Order: SVU anymore!
I can’t even imagine the terror of having a teenage daughter kidnapped while at school and forced to endure unspeakable terrors. Just because we think that something like this can’t happen in the United States doesn’t mean that we can sit idly by.
Here is what you need to know about the kidnapping of 234 Nigerian schoolgirls AND most importantly, what you can do to help:
Sixteen days ago, an estimated 234 girls between 16 and 18 years old were taken from a school in northeastern Nigeria by a group of Islamic militants called Boko Haram.
The girls are believed to have been taken into Sambisa forest. The forest, reportedly quite thick and swampy and containing a sizable wildlife population ranging from monkeys to elephants, is a Boko Haram stronghold.
Escapees report that once there the girls were asked to cook for the insurgents. Bystanders in the general area say that the girls have now been split up and subjected to mass wedding ceremonies. Some say they have been taken out of Nigeria. Some also say the girls are now “sex slaves.”
The oft-reported rumor is they’re being auctioned off for the equivalent of $12 USD. No one has yet verified these reports with any degree of certainty. (Source: Gawker.com)
Boko Haram is a terrorist group receiving training from al Qaeda affiliates, according to U.S. officials. Its name means “Western education is sin.”
In his nearly hourlong, rambling video, Shekau repeatedly called for Western education to end. “Girls, you should go and get married,” he said.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Use social media to spread the word about the situation in Nigeria. Put massive pressure on the government, security forces, and the neighboring governments to spur them to action. Use the hashtag, #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS. Change your profile picture to the Bring Back Our Girls logo, as seen at the top of this post.
3. Get More Information
Read more by World Moms Blog contributor Jennifer Prestholdt in The Advocates for Human Rights post, “Nightmare for Nigeria’s School Girls.”
4. Demand that our U.S. Representatives pass the Education for All Act (H.R. 2780), which specifically calls out victims of human trafficking as some of the most vulnerable children to help.
6. Call on our officials to sign U.S. Representative Jan Schakowksy’s letter to the Obama administration to fund $250 million over 2 years to the Global Partnership for Education, which aims to raise $3.5 billion from donor governments at a pledging conference this June.
If you are a mom that is lucky enough to have her child safely sitting at home with her right now, count your blessings and do one small act to try to help another mom who is not as fortunate. #BringBackOurGirls
Happy Mother’s Day!
A special thank-you to World Moms Blog for suggesting several of the ways you can help.