Three girls who escaped a mass abduction by Boko Haram one year ago today have a powerful message to share — the jihadists won’t stop us from learning and living.
Al Jazeera spoke with the girls, who were abducted along with more than 200 of their classmates before jumping off of the trucks of their kidnappers.
When asked if they want to go back to their hometown of Chibok, all three girls say yes.
“I want some changes in Chibok, like the environment,” a girl called Blessing said. “I want to be a lawyer. I want to fight for justice. “
Another, Mary, says she wants to ” become a medical doctor. To go to Chibok and build clinics and hospitals because we don’t have educated doctors there. I will try hard.”
The third, Deborah had a profound message: “It was said that if you educate a girl you educate the whole nation. It is very important. They haven’t stopped me. …
That’s why I am going back when I graduate. The education there is very poor. So I want to help by building a school. I want to empower women by creating centres that will teach them things.”
Al Jazeera reports that they are now attending college at the University of Nigeria in Yola, while the BBC reports that their classmates are likely being taught the Koran and married off to members of Boko Haram.
The military conflict in the region makes it difficult to search for the captured children, and there are only rumours and brief sightings to go on, but the ones who got away remain hopeful.
Deborah also sent a message to captive girls: “The message is be brave and courageous. Be a hard worker and always believe in God, that whatever you are going through, God is there for you, he will help you. Have ambition that you are great and you were made to be a great person.”
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