On Tuesday, May 27th, Nigeria celebrates Children’s Day. It is supposed to be a day filled with joy, merriment, and hope for our nation’s future as we honor children.
However, what happens when children go missing and lives are disrupted?
This was the question posed throughout Nigeria’s 2014 Children’s Day.
Almost 300 girls have been missing from Chibok, a town in Borno State, Nigeria, for 43 days and counting, and very little information exists on the progress being made to return them to their families.
UNICEF Communication Specialist Mr. Geoffrey Njoku stated at the event, “Every day in the media we hear of one form of abuse or the other against children, rape of underaged children, child trafficking, and so on. We need to create a protective environment for our children to ensure a bright future for them.”
Regrettably, children were not kept safe on April 14th.
Terrorist attacks have continued to plague the northeast region of the country, and the sad truth is that Nigeria will continue to experience the effects of this ordeal for years to come.
A report indicates that nearly 80 percent of women are unable to read in at least eight northern states. The kidnapping of girls from the Government Girls Secondary School has seriously hurt the progress of girls in this nation.
Initiatives focused on building positive perceptions around girl child education have been taking place, but the recent abduction counters those efforts. Many families don’t want their girl child to go to school for fear of their safety.
This is a travesty. The sooner we #BringBackOurGirls, the sooner we can rebuild lives.
In honor of Children’s Day, join Global Days of Action to #BringBackOurGirls. Today, people around the world wore red in solidarity with the girls and many Children’s Day parades and festivities were canceled or modified to prayers or reflections to honor our girls.
See photos from Nigeria’s Children’s Day 2014 here:
Global Days of Action to #BringBackOurGirls continues for the rest of the week! See the flyer of events for more information (pictured below):