219 girls. 365 days missing. We must #BringBackOurGirls.
The Chibok Girl Ambassadors prepare to march in Abuja, Nigeria
Today marks the first anniversary of the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.
On 14 April 2014, 276 girls were snatched from their school in Chibok by Boko Haram, who have been culpable for attacks on several schools in northern Nigeria. Now, one year later, 219 girls are still being held, leading to protests and vigils across the world.
In the US, the Empire State Building will be lit purple to mark the anniversary. Schools in Nigeria are organising marches and campaigns. Vigils will take place in the UK, Australia, France and Chile. And the #BringBackOurGirls group held a March in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, as part of a week of events leading up to the anniversary. Dr Oby Ezekweseli, one of the group’s leaders and a former Nigerian education minister, said: “We believe that they can be rescued. We have cities all over the world remembering these girls…we refuse to move on”.
The anniversary also highlights the growing number of attacks on schools. Around the world, terror attacks on schools are at their highest levels since 1970. In the last year alone, school children in Gaza, Pakistan, Kenya, Syria and South Sudan have suffered.
With the deadline for the Millennium Development Goal on Education fast approaching, now more than ever is the time to ensure that every child has their right to a quality education protected and fulfilled.