Reading his story not only opened my eyes to what a terrific organization Pencils of Promise is, but also broadened my awareness of the value of education around the world, especially in the most impoverished regions.
For that reason, it heightens the heartbreak that these 230 young women were kidnapped from their boarding school and were made to sit helplessly in trucks while the Boko Haram set their school on fire.
For them that school meant education, and power, and confidence, and freedom, and pride; all things lost on me, a fairly typical American girl who took her free education for granted.
At the time of this writing, the girls’ whereabouts are unknown. Inside reports have indicated that 20 are already dead, and at least 20 more need medical attention.
The terrorists have made public threats of their intention to sell the young women in markets. I can’t even imagine the fear of such a desperate fate.
Typically, this would be a story I’d ignore; not because I don’t care, only that I feel I have no power. I don’t watch the news or read the newspaper because I find that negativity breeds sensationalism. I get the Huffpost daily brief and the rest of the important stuff by word of mouth.
This story, however, I could not let go of. I don’t know all the facts; I haven’t been following CNN’s ticker. I know enough to be horrified for the girls and their families.
I know this isn’t the first attack of its kind and likely not the last, but this isn’t the type of thing we can turn a blind eye to anymore. We are more connected than ever through social networks, therefore our responsibility as a global community has increased even at the individual level.
Our posts suddenly have power and purpose; even by signing a virtual petition we are publicizing our invested interest.
Still, I can’t do much. Yet I don’t feel hopeless. I am hopeful that by raising awareness of these violent crimes against women around the world we can put a stop to it.
Pencils of Promise began with one dude, $25 bucks and a stubborn vision. We each have more power than we give ourselves credit, whether it’s a post, a petition, a donation, or launching a for-purpose organization; true passion in action makes the impossible, possible.
In positive news (I’m going for the sandwich method), POP is building a new school every 90 minutes! Be sure to check them out; they are pretty rad.
I leave you with this: Please consider signing the above petition, and please keep these young women in your thoughts and posts. #bringbackourgirls has more power than might imagine. African governments cannot ignore the global viral attention of this attack.
One more thing, take a few minutes to be grateful for your education and your freedom. There are people all over the world who are fighting for what, for most of us, came free.