Over the last few days a number of my friends have shared about the missing girls in Nigeria. My heart aches for them and their families.
This was the first image to catch my attention.
Then Sarah Bessey posted this poignant prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, bring back our girls.
Two-hundred-and-twenty-three precious young women are still lost to us. We are weeping for our children, hear our prayer.
And today my friend Tom Balke posted the names of some of these young girls. The list is overwhelming and unfortunately many of us do feel both overwhelmed and impotent. Apart from praying and posting our concerns on Facebook or twitter, what can we do?
Nicholas Kristoff in this excellent article Bring Back Our Girls increased my understanding of why this is so important.
In hopes of viral pressure on Nigerian authorities to try to recover the girls, campaigns have started on the White House website, on Change.org and on Facebook to demand: “Bring Back Our Girls.” All this may or may not help, but it’s worth trying.
Pressure is mounting and today the Nigerian government begged for help and the US government sent in a team. What else can we do?
We can keep the pressure coming. One of my concerns is that this must not become a five day wonder that we soon forget about as another catastrophe takes its place in our minds.
There are other ways we can help too. As Nicholas Kristoff says,
The best tool to fight extremism is education, especially of girls — and that means ensuring that it is safe to study. The greatest threat to militancy in the long run comes not from drones but from girls with schoolbooks.
Part of what we can do is support organizations that help to educate women and girls,
Or perhaps we can get involved in educating girls who live in poverty – starting with our own neighbourhoods.
Other issues face girls and women that strip them of their rights. I love this idea that Jamie Arpin Ricci made me aware of yesterday. Simple ways to carry water that do not involve the back breaking work of carrying it on ones’ head can save the lives of women and girls for whom this is a daily chore.
Or perhaps you like this idea for providing solar cookers for refugee women which the Jewish World Watch initiated.
None of us are powerless but we may feel as though we are. So as you pray for the girls in Nigeria ask yourself what you personally could do to make a difference for the many other girls around the world who face the same challenges.