news

It has been 365 heart-wrenching days since these schoolgirls were taken. #BringBackOurGirls

We must remember them.

It’s exactly one year since more than 200 school girls were abducted in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram militants.

One year since their parents slept soundly in the knowledge that their little girls were safe.

One year since their siblings laughed with them, fought with them, were reassured by them.

On the evening of April 14, 2014, 276 girls were taken from their rural secondary school in Chibok.

Fifty-seven of the girls, aged between 16 and 18, managed to escape within a few days. The remaining 219 girls have not been seen since an appearance in a video by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram last May.

Though the mass kidnapping sparked an online global campaign – led by people like Michelle Obama– to find the girls, most people turned away from the atrocity within days. But while the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag slipped off the radar for many of us, the missing girls have consumed the minds of their families.

ADVERTISEMENT
Global interest in the case dropped quickly.

These parents have been plagued by whispers their daughters converted to Islam and were sold into marriage for just $12 in a series of “mass weddings” across West Africa. And taunted by promises of action from their government and international allies – promose that have resulted in nothing.

Related: The exact moment the world lost interest in the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.

But today they are being remembered.

Ceremonies are being staged around the world to mark 365 days of darkness in Nigeria and to renew the call to free the lost students.

Images of the girls and their devastated families are popping up all over social media.

Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai wrote an open letter to the teens, calling on world leaders to save the girls.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In my opinion, Nigerian leaders and the international community have not done enough to help you,” she told her “brave sisters” in the open letter.

“They must do much more to help secure your release. I am among many people pressuring them to make sure you are freed.”

These girls deserve to be remembered today – and every day – wherever they are.

They are daughters with names, and who have parents that desperately hope every day that they will be reunited.

And until these girls are rescued, we will remember them. Every day.

The Mamamia and iVillage teams remember the 219 missing girls.

To send your own message of support, click here    

00:00 / ???