Can you imagine being taken from your family and separated from your friends for nearly a year? Unfortunately, this is the situation that 219 young women from Chibok in Nigeria are enduring since they were kidnapped by Boko Haram on 14 April last year. To many, these girls are simply gone and forgotten; written off as a casualty of conflict.
The Girls’ Brigade cares for these girls because God cares for girls. Six of the young women are GB members. Over the past few months, the GB global family has been encouraging each other to pray with and advocate for these young women. Around 2,500 Cards of Hope have been made and sent in by GB groups as part of a campaign to turn up the volume of hope for the kidnapped Chibok girls. On 17th March 2015, an 18-strong delegation of hope, made up of GB members, leaders and supporters, went to London to present some of GB's Cards of Hope to Baroness Joyce Anelay at the UK Foreign Office, and to the door of Number 10 Downing Street.
GB Millennial leader Zoe Davis (21) shares her experience of being part of the delegation of hope:
It was fantastic to meet with Baroness Anelay, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, at the Houses of Parliament last month. She spoke to us about the current situation in Nigeria, particularly the political uncertainty within the country due to upcoming elections, and explained how the British government are working alongside the US government to develop strategies preventing further abductions and improving the safety of girls in education in Nigeria. We presented Baroness Anelay with 219 Cards of Hope, made by girls in GB groups throughout the country. She explained that she can use these to stress the importance of the situation in Parliament and to demonstrate the hope of the Girls' Brigade and the younger generation.
Three GB girls from 39th Birmingham GB group, Kelisha, Anca and Ellie, explained why they care about the missing girls and how they’ve been raising hope for the girls over the past year in their community. Another young girl, Lily (10) from 5th Reading GB group read the following poem of hope she had written:
We are all girls,
We all go to school,
We all hope you are safe,
We pray that you are found.
God loves us all,
Although you can’t see Him,
He is with us and you,
We pray God will keep you safe.
We think of you often,
We pray all the time,
Your time to shine is almost here,
Your plight has touched our hearts.
We will never forget what you are going through,
Don’t every give up,
God is with you.
The passion of the young women for justice for the Chibok girls was evident through all the work that they have done and their enthusiasm and confidence in presenting it. Even though I am still young, I was incredibly moved and filled with hope at this maturity and compassion from girls so young.
The Minister of State’s feelings about the importance of education for girls and the situation in Nigeria were obvious and we all left feeling encouraged by her words.
At 4pm we excitedly made our way to Downing Street and delivered more Cards of Hope to Number 10. Before we left Parliament, we had time for a cheeky selfie with our National President Rachel Gardner.
Outside Number 10, we had the opportunity to talk to George Osborne about the Chibok girls - further raising the volume of hope at the end of a busy day! What struck me most about the day was the importance of our inspirational young people in hoping for the safe return of the girls and working so hard to use their voices to raise the volume of hope for them.
You can read more about GB’s Cards of Hope initiative here . Please join with us and raise the volume of hope for the Chibok girls. You can do this in a number of ways:
- Make a Card of Hope – GB is still collecting Cards of Hope and planning to send them to other organisations like the European Parliament, UK Nigerian Embassy and UN. You can download a pack here. Why don’t you encourage your church to get involved?
- Pray – We know the situation is Nigeria is complicated. Please use our creative prayer resource to pray decisively for the young women, their families,girls’ education and the church in Nigeria. You can download it here. If you’re passionate about girls around the world, GB International has also launched its free Prayer Wave resource.
Zoe, 21, is a student from Birmingham and a GB leader in Halesowen who is passionate about empowering girls and young women to follow their hopes and dreams and make positive changes in the world.