What Will It Take to Free the Missing Nigerian Teens? #BringBackOurGirls

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On March 8, 239 people went missing on Malaysian Flight 370 somewhere over the Indian Ocean. At least nine countries, Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, the U.K., France and the United States have sent warships, experts, search and rescue boats, offered information from satellite and radar to look for debris to find the plane and learn the fate of these people. The United States alone has spent $44 million in its efforts to locate the plane and its black box. The search continues today. All hope for survivors is lost.

On April 16, 276 teenage girls were abducted from their school in the middle of the night in Nigeria. Two hundred twenty-three girls remain missing. Their government initially said most of the girls had already been released, but that was not true. Parents, desperate to find their daughters, made bows and arrows and headed into the bush to find them themselves, without any luck. Not one nation (including Nigeria, in my opinion) has stepped forward with a real and aggressive hunt for these girls.

Humanitarian experts have feared that these girls being kept to sell into slavery and the sex trade—and today, the leader of Boko Haram, the group that abducted them, released a video saying that the group plans to "sell the girls." According to the New York Times:

The arrests were reported as the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, threatening in a video message obtained by Agence France-Presse to sell the girls.

“Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married,” he said in the video, according to A.F.P. “I will sell them in the market, by Allah.”

And yet, it would seem that not one authority anywhere in the world can find the time, energy and money to save these girls.

This is truly outrageous.

It is unforgivable to surrender these children to a lifetime of suffering while we stand by literally throwing millions of dollars into the ocean for people we will likely never find and who we have no hope of saving.

My voice is very small.

Your voice is very small.

But the power of social media is very great. Look at the Arab Spring: Multiple revolutions were started, powered, and communicated through text messaging and Twitter, through blogs and other social networks. Every single woman, every single mother, father, sister, brother and cousin in the world should be raising our voices together for those girls TODAY.

And tomorrow, and the next day—until those girls are brought home.

The mothers in Nigeria are asking us to do one thing together for them. One small thing; raise our voices, remember their daughters.

Do it. Do it now.

#BringBackOurGirls

Bring Back Our Girls

Recent Posts by Deanna Martinez

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