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Posts tagged ‘Chibok’

Chibok – 2 years on

Although there has been some confusion as to the identity of the second girl, it has been reported that two of the 219 abducted schoolgirls of Chibok, Nigeria have been found by the Nigerian army. The first girl, Amina Ali Nkeki, has been reunited – along with her child – with her parents and recently met the Nigerian president. I say “confusion” because, whilst the second schoolgirl, Serah Luka, was a student at the school, she was actually kidnapped from her home. There’s some dispute among Chibok campaigners regarding the exact number of hostages who have been rescued by the army.

You can read more about it at BBC News. An important point was raised by their Africa security correspondent Tomi Oladipo: “… army records show (the Nigerian army) freed 11,595 people between February and April this year. That has barely been publicised… unlike the schoolgirls whose disappearance raised concern around the world. As important as the Chibok girls are, it appears their fate is being used as a measure of success in the fight against Boko Haram.”

The campaign for the return of Chibok’s girls has garnered the support of human rights activist Malala Yousafzai and even the First Lady of the US Michelle Obama.

I’m so pleased that they’re finally home, safe and well. I can only hope that more hostages are found and freed. It has been two years since the abduction of the girls and, still, 218 girls remain missing in the hands of terrorist group Boko Haram. Love and light and solidarity, sisters, always.

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Happy Birthday, Emma Watson!

It’s Emma Watson’s 25th birthday today!

Take a look at this article from HelloGiggles: It is, in their own words, “a love letter to Hermione Granger”, exploring the impact she has had on how young women are portrayed in fiction and on the self-esteem of female Harry Potter fans. Hermione has always been a favourite character of mine, and I think that’s true for many other girls my age who grew up with the series. I feel as though I developed alongside the character, growing more opinionated and more confident as I matured. And, more importantly, I learned that confidence was a good thing. 

Emma herself is now the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, as well as being a prominent feminist activist. You can watch her speech for the HeForShe campaign here: It’s a beautiful, powerful speech.

(I just watched it again and I’m crying now.)

Thank you, Emma, for all you have done so far. I hope you continue to shine for years to come. Happy birthday.

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I also meant to post something yesterday. I’ll include it here, as it is a massively significant issue. It has been a year since the kidnap of the girls from Chibok, Nigeria. Malala Yousafzai, activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been campaigning passionately for action against Boko Haram, a terrorist group in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram is roughly translated as “Western education is forbidden”. Malala’s work is discussed in this BBC report from Monday: She has also written an open letter, addressed to her “brave sisters”, as a message of solidarity for the schoolgirls. You can read it in this CNN report:

She ends the letter by saying:

“Remember that one day your tragic ordeal will end, you will be reunited with your families and friends, and you will have the chance to finish the education you courageously sought. I look forward to the day I can hug each one of you, pray with you, and celebrate your freedom with your families. Until then, stay strong, and never lose hope. You are my heroes.”

I can only applaud and offer my support to Malala for continuing to challenge the Nigerian government and the international community concerning this act of violence. She is a magnificent, brave young woman. It’s incredibly inspiring to see her publicly offer her love and compassion to other women who have suffered, despite having been a target of extremists previously. She refuses to be victimised or silenced. My heart goes out not only to the kidnapped schoolgirls but to their families.

malala yousafzai