After 234 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped from school by Boko Haram on April 14, it caused great concern for not just the families of the girls but communities all around the world.
Rallies around the world have taken place to put pressure on local governments to help Nigeria with this Islamic militant group through media exposure. Many showed their support through social media using the #Bring-BackOurGirls #234 on pictures and post. Even First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted and instagrammed a photo of herself in support of the movement which sparked a number of celebrities and others to follow suit.
On Saturday, May 3, in Union Square a protest rally took place. Most in attendance wore headwraps in support of raising awareness and praying for the young girls that are being held captive by Boko Haram.
For most in attendance they heard about it through social media which has been playing a tremendous part in bringing awareness to this tragedy and the event.
“I heard about this event through social media. Yeah, good ol Instagram,” said Karrin Glover.
“Facebook friends shared it, and I reposted it. It’s on Twitter…it’s all over,” said Lisa Vives who was also made aware of the rally through social media.
Sisters Tiffany and Jennifer A came from New Jersey to show their support after seeing several posts about it on Facebook.
“It was all over social media, and people were tagging #BringBackOurGirls. So I was able to find out and we decided to come all the way from Jersey to support,” said Tiffany.
More than anything participants just want to show the families of the girls that they care through their protest.
“I care very deeply about the welfare, the safety of young women,” said Glover. “So I wanted to let them know that they are not alone. And that all over the world people are thinking about them.”
The local women in Nigeria continued to march and protest for their missing girls to be brought back weeks after the kidnapping.
This support has brought more exposure to Nigeria’s missing girl as it was addressed during the World Economic Forum in Africa (WEFA) that took place in Abuja, Nigeria. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan admitted to not knowing where the girls are in his opening address at the forum. As other countries government step in to help Jonathan remains optimistic.
“I believe that the kidnappimg of these girls will be the beginning of the end of terror in Nigeria,” he said.
More protest took place; the following Saturday morning a march from Harlem to the Nigerian Embassy followed by a rally organized by Ketchie’s Project, a non-profit organization that empowers under represented and under privilege girls through education. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rev. Al Sharpton were in attendance.
“We will continue to work with other organizations that are taking this on as an issue for them because a collective voice is more important than individual groups doing their separate things,” said Miamah Richards, on the board of directors for Ketchie’s Project, about continuing the efforts until the girls are returned.
“In today’s age, in the 21st century we have occurrences where 300 girls are missing and it is completely unacceptable,” said Ndali Kashume, founder and director of Speaking Wombs, during a rally in Times Square held by Nigerians In Diaspora Organization six weeks after the girls were still missing.
Over two months later the girls are still being held captive and the #BringBackOurGirls protest are changing into more serious conversation about the Nigerian government, Boko Haram, and women’s right. Meanwhile, Boko Haram continues to violently attack cities and villages around Nigeria killing innocent people.
Photo gallery below from #BringBackOurGirls rallies around New York City.
Photo credit: Union Square, Randall Holloway; Nigerian Embassy, Sekou Diarra; Times Square, Bukola Shonunga