100 days blog: #BringBackOurGirls vigils held around the world
Today is the 100th day since the Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Vigils are taking place around the world today and tomorrow – and we will be covering the events as they happen in words, pictures and social media, updating this blog regularly.
Supporters will light candles and stand in solidarity in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. The Bring Back Our Girls group will play a leading role, with events organised in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Marches will be held across the country and prayers will be said in churches and mosques.
As well as Nigeria, events are being held on July 23 and 24 in other countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Togo, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Portugal.
You can also:
Sign a new online petition by A World at School – using the form on this page – which will call for the safe return of the girls and which will be presented to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. You can also leave a message of support along with the petition and these will be passed to Chibok community leaders and families of the girls.
UN SPECIAL ENVOY’S MESSAGE
Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, talks to Yahoo’s Katie Couric about why the vigils are vital. He says: “We must show, in the international community, 100 days after they’ve been taken into captivity, we will not forget… We will keep the torch for these girls alive and lit so that the whole world knows that we must do everything in our power to rescue them.” Watch the full interview here.
BAN KI-MOON: I’M WITH YOU
The UN Secretary-General released a statement last night. It read: “I stand in solidarity with all those taking part in vigils today to demonstrate that the world has not forgotten the girls who were so cruelly abducted from their school 100 days ago in Chibok, Nigeria. I repeat my call for their immediate release and for an end to discrimination, intimidation and violence against girls whose only wish is to gain an education.”
FAMILIES MEET PRESIDENT
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday met families of the missing girls, members of the Chibok community and some of the girls who escaped from Boko Haram. Hadiza Usman of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign said: “The community appreciated the visit and the president reassured them of the ongoing rescue operation. We are having a 100 days sit -out on July 23 at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.”
SIGNS OF SUPPORT
A sitout was held at Odogbolu in Nigeria’s Ogun state. Damola Morenikeji, an A World at School Global Youth Ambassador, said: “Our thoughts, voices and prayers were focused on the abducted girls, with calls to Bring Back Our Girls and make our schools safer.”
BRIDGE RALLY IN VANCOUVER
The Canadian city hosted a #BringBackOurGirls vigil at Burrard Bridge.
— Amnesty Vancouver (@AmnestyBC) July 24, 2014
PAKISTAN LIGHTS CANDLES
In Pakistan, a 100 Days candlelight vigil was held outside the Lahore Press Club. The Grassroot Organisation for Human Development (GODH), Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagah (ITA), Beydaari (a youth-led initiative) and Child Right Movement all took part and a letter of support was sent to the ambassador for Nigeria in Islamabad.
Another candlelight vigil was held in the DG Khan district of Punjab. Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagah was also involved in this event, along with civil society organisations. ITA district manager Rafiq Ahmad said the Nigerian girls were being denied their education – as were 11% of girls in Pakistan.
THE VOICES OF AMERICA
A vigil was held at Holmby Park in Los Angeles. Children, teenagers and adults took turns to demand #BringBackOurGirls by reading out their names. You can listen to some of them here.
WALK FREE AROUND THE WORLD
Walk Free, the organisation that works to end slavery, encouraged people organising vigils to change their Facebook and Twitter profile page pictures and use the hashtags #100Days and #BringBackOurGirls. It also asked for photos to be submitted to its Facebook page – here are a couple of them.
The one below is from Maged in Yemen.
This one is from Marina in New Zealand.
And this one is from Saeed in India.
STEPPING UP FOR CHIBOK GIRLS
A 100 days vigil was held on the steps of Hackney Town Hall in London. The picture below appears on the Instagram and Twitter accounts of Matthew Otubu, who is a UNICEF UK Chidren’s Championl.
LAGOS HEARS THE MESSAGE
Ola Bisoye Dosonmu, a journalist and producer with Nigeria’s Arise News, tweeted this photo of a vigil in Lagos. She wrote: “All we are saying is #BringBackOurGirls – 100 days and still counting.”
Nigerian TV channel TV360 ran a lengthy report on the Lagos vigil, which you can watch in the video player below.
OUR YOUTH AMBASSADORS IN NY
Some of A World at School’s Global Youth Ambassadors took part in a vigil in New York City.
— Tyler Zang (@tylerzang) July 23, 2014
And this tweet of thanks for those who protested in New York…
— #BringBackOurGirls (@rotexonline) July 24, 2014
ABUJA REMEMBERS IN RED
Nigerian Federal Minister of Education Obiageli Ezekwesili attends a rally in the Nigerian capital Abuja on the 100th day since the girls were taken.
INDIAN CHILDREN ON MARCH
Children from Bal Ashram – a long-term rehabiliation centre for rescued child labourers near Jaipur, India – held a candlelight vigil. Bal Ashram is run by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a partner of Global March Against Child Labour in India. The children marched from the centre to a nearby village, where they joined locals and Taiwanese volunteers from the Eden Foundation.
Global March Against Child Labour also submitted an appeal to the Nigerian High Commission in New Delhi. You can read it here.
CELEBRITIES LEND THEIR SUPPORT
TV talent show judge Sharon Osbourne has tweeted a link to this very blog. Sharon has appeared on America’s Got Talent and both the US and UK version of The X Factor.
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) July 23, 2014
American business magnate Russell Simmons – founder of the hip-hop music label Def Jam and fashion clothing lines – also tweeted his support.
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) July 23, 2014
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media also asked its Twitter followers to sign A World at School’s petition and send messages of support.
— GeenaDavisInstitute (@GDIGM) July 23, 2014
Actor and writer Rainn Wilson, who starred in the US version of TV comedy The Office and founded the non-profit organisation LIDE, also urged his Twitter followers to hold a vigil or send a message of support.
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) July 21, 2014
Artist Sarah Peace has created this installation – titled Chibok100 – with help from volunteers from the Rosebud Centre for Girls. It’s on show today in Loughton, Essex, England.
— Rosebud Centre (@RosebudCentre) July 22, 2014
TAKE A BOW, BRADFORD
The Bradford Women for Peace Network in West Yorkshire, England, held a vigil today. Its poster proclaimed: “Wear red. Bring a book. A pencil. Artwork. Poems. Songs for a peaceful vigil. Raise your books for EDUCATION FOR ALL!”
— Lisa Cumming (@LisaDialogue) July 23, 2014
NEWSMAKERS JOIN IN TOO
Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the UK’s Labour Party, has tweeted this message today.
Now missing for 100 days. Kidnapped because they want an education. We must not rest until we #BringBackOurGirls
— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) July 23, 2014
CNN presenter Isha Sesay is also a member of the Emergency Coalition for Global Education Action. She tweeted today about the 100 days.
Nigeria’s missing school girls have been in captivity for 100 days. So very sad to be marking this milestone today. #BringBackOurGirls
— Isha Sesay (@IshaSesayCNN) July 23, 2014
And CNN tweeted this fantastic artwork.
— CNN (@CNN) July 23, 2014
BBOG ‘S MESSAGE TO THE GIRLS
The Bring Back Our Girls Facebook page, which has 227,000 likes, has this message today for the abducted girls:
YOU CAN HOLD A MINI VIGIL
It’s great to be part of a crowd who are gathering to make their voices heard. But you can always hold your own vigil in your home, car, anywhere!
Karen Wespeiser of the National Foundation For Educational Research tweeted this picture:
And this sign was spotted on a car in London.
This office worker spotted a small vigil taking place on the streets of the Brazlian capital Brasilia.
— God’sFavorite (@Dr_bamz) July 23, 2014
…OR TAKE TO THE SPORTS FIELD
A #BringBackOur Girls 100 Days football match was held yesterday in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Dream Girls Women beat Airtel Girls FC 1-0 – but the result didn’t matter as organiser Aderonke Ogunleye said: “It has been 100 days of wailing and crying in the household of these girls. We are begging the insurgents to please let our girls go back home to their parents.” Partners in the event were Nigerian Red Cross, UN Women and Airtel.
…OR HOLD A VIGIL AT SCHOOL
Girls at Gumley House Convent School in Isleworth, England. They tweeted today: “@GumleyHouse girls in solidarity #100Days on. We say #BringBackOur Girls.”
WHAT NON-PROFITS ARE SAYING
Our friends at Plan International are marking the 100 days on its website and social media channels. Plan Global Advocacy Manager Emily Laurie has written a blog which reflects on the 100 days of campaigning since the girls were taken. You can read it here.
— Girl Up (@GirlUp) July 23, 2014
Half The Sky, which seeks to end the oppression of girls and women, tweeted this:
— Half the Sky Mvmt (@Half) July 23, 2014
… AND AN OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT EXPERT
“For all its moral depravity Boko Haram understands the power of education. There is a reason the group attacks school children, assassinates teachers and destroys schools.” These words come from a thought-provoking blog written by Kevin Watkins, director of the Overseas Development Institute, and published today on The Independent website. Last year Kevin wrote a report, commissioned by A World at School, on the plight of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.
INVITATIONS BY TWITTER
— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) July 23, 2014
— A World at School (@aworldatschool) July 23, 2014
— A World at School (@aworldatschool) July 23, 2014
— A World at School (@aworldatschool) July 23, 2014
— Making Herstory (@MakeHerstory1) July 23, 2014
Do YOU want to STAND for our #ChibokGirls on this 100th day of their abduction? New York: Candlelight vigil @ Nigerian Consulate. 5.30pm.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) July 23, 2014
— Routes to Peace (@RoutestoPeace) July 23, 2014