Remember when the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag swept across the Internet?
In case you weren’t around for that or need a refresher, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign started in response to terrorist group Boko Haram’s abduction of 276 schoolgirls in a Nigerian village on April 30, 2014. Advocates globally protested the group, demanding that they be returned to their education and lives as ordinary girls.
Boko Haram abducted girls from the village of Chibok. According to the official Bring Back Our Girls Nigeria Twitter, 57 have escaped but 219 remain missing. In the days following, hundreds marched on the Nigerian National Assembly, and the movement went viral.
The call moved millions, from ordinary citizens to United States First Lady Michelle Obama, to show their support on social media for those working to rescue the girls. A year later in 2015, many showed their support on the one year anniversary of the abduction. Authorities do not have information on where they could be – potentially sold as child brides, or made to work as slaves.
Local governments and activist groups around the world have made repeated promises to “bring back the girls,” but it’s clear that so far, the results have been dismal. While they have managed to clear the region that Boko Haram had hidden out in, and consequently finding and freeing numerous women who had previously been captured by the group, they have not managed to find most of the schoolgirls who have been captured by the group.
Most people have completely forgotten about the campaign, evident by the lack of the hashtag trending on social media and amount of vocal and financial support that people are now willing to provide. Some believe that the drop in support is due to a lack of faith that the girls will ever be found.
There are a handful of people who are still holding out hope. CNN reported last year on Charles Alasholuyi, a man who continues to show his support and faith that the girls will be found, or at least, their families will find out what happened to them. Alasholuyi also brings up a valid point on the attacks that groups like Boko Haram lay on villages, towns, and cities throughout the region: they continue to happen, and yet, no one offers aid for the violence that continues to seize the area.
On the anniversary of the 600th day that the girls went missing, the Nigeria Diaspora Security Forum called for the government to set up a special task force to work on it. The girls have not been brought back, but a few have faith that they will eventually return. #BringBackOurGirls may not trend on Twitter any more, but the efforts of the few continue to show that they will work to bring awareness to the campaign.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.