Sunday, 11 May 2014

# BRING BACK OUR GIRLS...

Cathy says:
This is perhaps the most frightening story I've ever posted on DREAMCATCHER, but I know that you, my readers, are strong and brave and caring and will not turn away from this. Please read and take the challenge to reach out to the kidnapped girls... 

In Chibok, a small town in the North-East of Nigeria on 14th April, over 300 girls were kidnapped from their school by an extremist group who oppose western culture and the education of girls. Some girls escaped, but 276 are still captive and the terrorist group have said they will sell the girls into slavery. Can you imagine being kidnapped from YOUR school and held by terrorists to be sold as slaves or forced into a child-marriage with someone you've never met? Nigeria may seem far away to some of us, but these are girls JUST LIKE YOU who have had their dreams and their futures stolen from them in the most terrifying way. Their families are grieving and the world looks on as a terrorist group uses fear, violence and bullying to push its views on others.

In the last week, the campaign #BringBackOurGirls has worked to raise awareness, and it now has the support of Michelle Obama, wife of the US president, David Cameron, UK's Prime Minister, Malala Youssefi, one of the most inspiring teens I know of, and many, many high profile celebs. I've done mine - will you join us? Add your support by taking a selfie with the message #BringBackOurGirls and posting it to your FB page and/or emailing it to me here - if I get enough, I will make a slideshow of the pictures to share online.

What else? Well, the names of 177 of the kidnapped girls have been released. This makes the girls seem more real to me - every one of these girls matters, as do the girls whose names we do not yet know. My local #BringBackOurGirls group are writing LETTERS to the girls to show support. The letters will never reach the girls, but the idea is to write down your thoughts, hopes and prayers for one of the girls as a mark of how much you care. Again, photograph your letter and send it to me here and I will add it to the #BringBackOurGirls slideshow... together, we can show that we stand together against the kidnappers, that we CARE. Can you spare five minutes of your time to reach out a hand of friendship to the missing girls? I've written mine...

How do you know who to write to? Just choose a name from the list on this page, imagine that girl and write from the heart. Your feelings and love and support may just reach her, even if the letter cannot. You can post up your finished letter onto your FB page, onto your Twitter feed or onto Instagram. You can tell your friends what you are doing and ask them to read this, and to do the same. Tell your teachers, and your parents. Share this link, and show that you won't turn away from their plight. Girls are NOT chattels to be stolen, to be bought or sold into slavery. It matters. And we HAVE to speak out.

PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK & ASK YOUR FRIENDS/ SCHOOL TO SUPPORT THE NIGERIAN SCHOOLGIRLS TOO. WILL YOU TAKE THE CHALLENGE?

Will YOU take the challenge and write a letter and/or take a selfie with a #BringBackOurGirls message? COMMENT BELOW to let us know! 

24 comments:

  1. I'm already on it. This is my cultural home we're talking about here! It's only right that I help out. Just thinking of one of those girls being my cousin (She goes to a boarding school in Nigeria) makes me wanna cry. Boko Haram NEED to be stopped! Like ASAP!!!

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    1. Thank you Deborah. It's so awful, and hard to stand by and do nothing. I have many readers in Nigeria and I worry for them. I also have two lovely great-nephews whose dad is Nigerian, so I feel even more strongly. Sending a hug, Deborah, and hoping very much that your cousin stays safe. xxx

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    2. Thanks Cathy! I hope your great-nephew' father and the nigerians readers are okay.

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  2. Such things need to be stopped. Blaming religions won't help. What such groups need is education. They claim western education or any education is wrong. But for that matter look what the lack of education is making you do. Islam asks you to treat woman respectfully, to protect them not sell them. The only one to whom we belong both males and females is God and no one has the right to make you a slave or force you into a marriage you don't want!

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  3. So sad kinda glad I don't have any relatives though on the other hand imagine the girls relatives and how they feel I'm on the taking a picture thing.

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    1. Thank you so much Amy... it helps to spread the word and show support. xxx

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  4. There is someone who is in my class who is Nigerian, and I can imagine they are hard hit by this, as is everyone. I won't pretend I can feel what the girls are going through, because I can't, but I will say this: if we fight hard enough, and have as many people's support as possible, we can reach these girls. They are somewhere on this earth, and we can search and raise awareness, until every single one of them is found. As it is Christian Aid week, I think they will probably put money towards finding the girls, and giving money anyway is a fantastic idea, as CA does so much to help others. I and my church, not to mention thousands, even millions of people, are praying that the girls are found, and that they may go on to live happy and fulfilled lives. I believe that God can save these girls, and I believe that he will.

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  5. me and my mom donated money to Nigeria (military) already! fingers cross those girls will be safe!

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  6. I heard about this i was first shocked and then i felt so annoyed and angry! I feel sorry for those girls. I get so annoyed about these things. I hate it when people are sexist and don't believe girls should go to school. It is just so unfair. I hope those people who kidnapped the girls suffer. It's just so horrible and un-right.

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    1. I know, Sorcha. Maybe you can write a letter and take a pic with the #BringBackOurGirls message to show peaceful support. xxx

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  7. I tried to write a letter too. Hope it will help anyway.
    It´s impossible for me to imagine, how do the girls feel. I´m sitting here in my room, surrounded by loving family. They have only hope. I would really like to help them somehow, and I will try to do it. I hope more people do the same and support the girls of their families.
    Possibly this all will be over soon...

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  8. I am doing this! As a girl, I believe we all need equal rights! We can't just turn on each other and take each other for granted, and we should definitely not put anyone for sale! It's wrong to do that but the people who kidnapped those girls have no idea! These people who kidnapped them have no idea how much trouble, upset and hatred they are causing! But soon enough, we will find them, I know we will!

    We are always thinking about those girls and I hope they will be found and they will be fine! #bringbackourgirls

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  9. Soooo Sad. Imagine what they must be feeling, they have to take a massive risk when going school and then they get kidnapped!?! And then being threatened to be sold into slavery!?! We HAVE to help them!

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  10. My Mom and I pray for the girls' release. We have also prayed for their families not to loose hope. God hears all prayers.Girls, hang in there, help is on the way.XXX Love Amy

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  11. those kidnappers doesn't have any heart! I just hope the girls are okay. I will help #BringBackOurGirls in any which way! xxx

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  12. This is a disgrace and it should be stopped right away. I could not imagine being kidnapped from my school. All of you girls and your families stick in there because all of this has to come to an end. I am going to do the selfie and letter for all of yous. Good luck. Love Cathy xxx

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  13. I've got a friend from Nigeria... The HORRIBLE people who did that to those poor girls should be put in jail for life!!! I want to do the challenge, but I've still got to check with mum (for security reasons...)
    I pray every day for those girls,
    Love Rose

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  14. Hi my names hannah and i think azania is totally write and its true in is kam you are not allowed to look at someone else and say their wrong even thou your doing something bad your self because you will be punished in this life or in the here after.(the day of judgement)

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  15. This is sooo horrible!!! The people who did this terible crime should be put in jail forever!!!!! Just pray for those poor girls:) Hopefully things will get better!!!

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  16. This is awful. Every girl has the right to be happy and safe. I wanna spread the message to my friends

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