300 Days Too Long: Malala Demands Return of Chibok Girls
Photo caption: Malala Yousafzai raises her arms with five escaped Chibok school girls on a trip to Nigeria in July 2014.
By Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Co-Founder of the Malala Fund
As we mark this tragic 300th day of captivity for hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, I call on people everywhere to join me in demanding urgent action to free these heroic girls.
Nigerian leaders and the international community can and must do much more to resolve this crisis and change their weak response to date. If these girls were the children of politically or financially powerful parents, much more would be done to free them. But they come from an impoverished area of northeast Nigeria and sadly little has changed since they were kidnapped.
Politicians running for office in the upcoming March elections should not only demonstrate their empathy but finally take some responsibility for this tragedy. The leaders of Nigeria should commit to work together and make the case of the Chibok girls a priority in their first 100 days in office, as well as the education of every Nigerian child.
These young women risked everything to get an education that most of us take for granted. I will not forget my sisters. We cannot forget them. We must demand their freedom until they are reunited with the families and back in school, getting the education they so desperately desire.
Through the Malala Fund, I will continue to support programs to enable the most vulnerable girls, including in Nigeria, to get the education they deserve. I will continue to advocate at the highest level, and support civil society to ensure that all children are able to access primary and secondary education. This is our mission.
Let's end this horrible saga now. Leaders must make sure the #BringBackOurGirls effort results in a real outcome: the return of the Chibok girls.