Campaign seeks to help educate escaped Nigerian schoolgirls
By KATY SENOUR
Washington D.C., Aug 5, 2014 / 04:18 am (CNA) - As more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls remain missing after being kidnapped this spring, one human rights group has started a campaign to help educate those who were able to escape.
“Right now as these courageous girls remain in Nigeria, they are confronted daily with the paralyzing fear of recapture and potential village attacks,” Jubilee Campaign legal intern Sarah Jane Norris told CNA.
“These are our sisters-in-Christ and they need our help.”
In April, the radical Islamic group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. About 60 girls have escaped, according to report, but the majority remain missing despite government efforts to locate them.
Jubilee Campaign USA – a non-profit group that supports human rights and religious freedom – is now raising money to help further the education of several of the girls who have escaped. This fits in with one of the organization’s stated goals, which is “to promote and protect vulnerable women and children from bodily harm and sexual exploitation, paying particular attention to the scourge of human trafficking or modern slavery which we oppose however we can, wherever we find it, in all of its forms.”
“We will assist 10 of the girl child victims, who courageously escaped the confines of their Boko Haram captors, by sending them to specialized boarding schools where their traumatic experiences may be transformed into empowering triumphs over evil,” said Norris.
Jubilee Campaign aims to raise $125,000 by Aug. 14, in order to help 10 of the girls to “have a fresh start and continue their education in a safe and nurturing environment.”
Along with providing an education to the young women, the fundraiser is a reminder “that the grand-scale of violence has not stopped in Chibok,” she added.
“Boko Haram unleashed and continues to unleash a vicious cycle of attacks on villages, churches, and schools,” she said, pointing to recent reports that 11 parents of the abducted girls have now died.
Jubilee Campaign also hosted a “100 Days of Captivity Rally” on July 24, marking 100 days since the girls had been kidnapped and urging the Nigerian government to do everything in its power to find and return the girls.
Ultimately, Norris said, the organization hopes to raise enough money to ensure the future of the escaped young women, and to be the light of Christ for them.
“If we can get these girls back in school in a safe environment, then the Chibok people, the Chibok culture, and these girls will survive in spite of Boko Haram,” she explained.
Jubilee Campaign’s fundraising website can be found at: http://www.youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/education-after-escape-1-month-10-girl-victims-125-000/206245