Wednesday, January 21, 2015

lift up your pen for the Nigerian girls!

5% of northern Nigerian girls make it to school. 273 of the girls who did make it to school, were kidnapped by Boko Haram. About 40 of them were found and the rest is still missing. It's been 282 days and we have begun to forget.

Europe has been impressed by terrorist attacks closer to home. Western countries are involved in the battle against IS and trying to keep their young Muslim men from joining jihad in Syria. In cities like Paris and Amsterdam thousands have marched, holding op pens and pencils in protest, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

We will speak out for our rights and say, write and draw what we think. We insist that no one will take our pen from us. And in the midst of angry sounds, demanding that we will not be silenced, I wonder what happened to the voice of these girls in Nigeria.

How many of them are still alive? How many of them are living their lives in captivity? How many are slaves to Boko Haram? How many are brain-washed? How many of them will ever hold a pen to write down their thoughts on these matters?

How many parents cry every day and still march to try to bring this to the World's attention and to try to get their government to act. All the while living in fear that Boko Haram will attack more villages. Perhaps parents who were reluctant to send a daughter to school and who, in retrospective, regret their decision. But also, parents who were proud to give their girl a chance to go to school and who dreamed that she would change her world as a teacher, a lawyer or a doctor.

See also:

Girl’s education has “proven to be one of the most cost-effective strategies to promote development and economicgrowth. Studies have shown that educated mothers tend to have healthier, better nourished babies, and that their own children are more likely to attend school; thus helping break the vicious cycle of poverty.”
- Unicef
“There are 600 million adolescent girls in the developing world. They are an undeniable force for social and economic impact. But only if given the opportunity. Around the world, girls are denied a formal education because of social, economic, legal and political factors. And in being denied an education, society loses one of its greatest and most powerful resources. Education empowers girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential, and to demand change.”
-Malala Fund

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