Chidok Kidnappings Reminder of the Urgent Need for Interfaith Peacebuilding
Last week’s video of a Boko Haram* leader threatening to sell 276 girls kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigeria sparked a global campaign to #BringBackOurGirls.
The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls struck a chord in me, as I know it probably has with you. It says these are our girls. We cannot imagine our daughters, sisters, or loved ones in the hands of the unknown. We feel deeply for the girls and their families—and we want to respond.
I believe, and I think you do too, that girls should not grow up in fear of being sold, kidnapped, or stolen from their schools and families. Every one of our girls has the right to be secure, and grow up to be an independent young woman. And what about our boys?
But these girls and many others who have not gotten the same attention are victims of a larger ongoing conflict in Nigeria. Since its creation, Nigeria has struggled to find unity between its Muslim north and Christian south. Without addressing this issue, these 276 children are just a fraction of an ever-growing number.
We need to change the situation to prevent tragedies like Chidok from happening again.
I firmly believe that the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) can offer a longer-term solution. When the news first broke three weeks ago, I put out a call for donations to boost Global Peace Foundation’s urgent peacemaking efforts in Nigeria.
The Global Peace Foundation has a proven track record for bringing social cohesion in divided communities. In Kenya, GPF was credited for its critical role in bringing about peaceful elections in 2013 following the violent elections in 2008. In the Philippines, GPF is working in Mindanao to break a century-old war between Muslim and Christians and create communities of peace.
The Global Peace Foundation has an active and strong local chapter in Nigeria that is working with community leaders, faith leaders, political leaders and youth to catalyze change and create direct antidotes to extremist violence. But, we need your help to continue.
Donate today and support our urgent work. On our last appeal, we raised almost half of the $7,000 USD needed to kick-off our ongoing Muslim-Christian youth leadership retreats. Please help us achieve our goal and give as generously as you are able.
Director of Resource Development,Global Peace Foundation
*The Boko Haram is an extremist Muslim separatist group in Northern Nigeria that formed in 2002. This group has been credited for much of the terrorist activity in Nigeria.