Pray for the Chibok Girls & Nigeria
International Day of the Girl 2017
#GBHopeEndures creative prayer activism
On Wednesday 11 October 2017, UN’s International Day of the Girl (IDG), Girls’ Brigade is mobilising the global family to continue to pray and advocate with and for the Chibok girls (and many others impacted by Boko Haram violence).
Currently 113 girls remain missing since their abduction on 14 April 2014; some of them are GB members. #IDG2017 marks their 1276th day of captivity.
On #IDG2017, Girls’ Brigade is inviting its members and friends to participate in a simple creative prayer exercise and social media activity to raise awareness and mobilise the wider Church to continue to pray; to say that we believe hope endures.
The creative activity includes using colourful hand templates to pray for specific named girls. It encourages members to upload photos of decorated hands on social media to make a powerful impact, raise awareness and mobilise others to join in.
You can download this short adaptable GB prayer resource and use it in GB, in church or in many other ways. The prayer can be linked with practical action through GB International’s Cards of Hope initiative or through the Hope for Girls resource. And remember, it can be used any time.
DOWNLOAD: #GBHopeEndures creative prayer activism
The resource also provides an update on the complex situation in Nigeria and urges us to pray for these young women, the many other people who have been affected by violence as well as their families. Since 2009, 20,000 people have been killed and over 2.6 million have been forced to leave their homes. Nigeria is number 12 on the Open Doors 2017 World Watch List, the annual ranking of countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.
The three year anniversary marks an opportunity for Girls’ Brigade to raise hope for girls; an opportunity for us to pray for Nigeria and all the people affected by Boko Haram’s violence. It’s also an opportunity to spotlight hopeful stories like Rebecca’s. Rebecca herself was displaced by Boko Haram but has set up her own charity which is helping to feed 2,000 widows and orphans.
There are still things to be thankful to God for including 57 young women who have escaped, 4 young women who have been found and 106 young women who have been released. In total, 167 girls and women have managed to escape or have been rescued.
As a movement, Girls’ Brigade cares about how girls around the world are treated. We aim to bring hope into girls’ lives, and freedom brings hope! That’s why Girls’ Brigade members from around the world are joining together o #IDG2017 to pray for the Chibok school girls in Nigeria (six of whom are members of The Girls’ Brigade).
Please join us as we continue to raise hope for girls.
DOWNLOAD: #GBHopeEndures creative prayer activism
How has GB campaigned for the Chibok girls?
Over the last 3 years, Girls’ Brigade members have been raising hope for the 219 girls who were abducted from their school in Nigeria on the night of 14/15 April 2014. This has included:
- On 11 September 2014 (150 days since the abductions), more than 120,000 people were reached on social media with a message of hope about the kidnapped Nigerian school girls.
- GB leaders and supporters have also sent many messages of hope and support to the parents of the schoolgirls via Open Doors.
- Sending over 5000 Cards of Hope to governments across the world reminding them that the girls have not be forgotten (you can still download the Cards of Hope pack here). This has included a delegation from GB England & Wales presenting Cards of Hope to Number 10 Downing Street, the home of the UK Prime Minister and a delegation from GB Australia presenting them to the Foreign Minister).
- Praying for the girls, their families and Nigeria on the second anniversary of their abductions (you can download the special GB prayer pack here)
- Praying for the girls, their families and Nigeria on the third anniversary of their abductions (you can download the special GB prayer pack here)
What is the current situation?
GB is thrilled to hear of the safe return of 22 young women – Amina in May 2016 and 21 in October 2016 and 82 were returned on 7 May 2017. Read more here. 113 young women (and countless others with no names) still remain without their freedom.
Six of them are our GB sisters – Abigail, Deborah, Grace, Awa, Esther and Deborah.
Unfortunately many families and communities have been affected by the violence of Boko Haram, the most deadly terrorist group in the world. Since 2009, 20,000 people have been killed and over 2.6 million have been forced to leave their homes. The large-scale Chibok abduction receives the most publicity – but girls and women are kidnapped almost weekly by Boko Haram – we don’t ever find out their names but God knows!
The political situation in Nigeria is extremely complicated as tensions between Christians and Muslims flare. Nigeria is number 12 on the Open Doors 2017 World Watch List, the annual ranking of countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. Christians in northern Nigeria have not only faced attack by Boko Haram, but also Hausa-Fulani herdsmen, a traditionally nomadic Islamic tribe. In 12 of the northern states, Sharia (Islamic law) has been implemented, and Christians in these states face discrimination and restrictions in accessing community resources, such as clean water, health clinics and higher education. Displaced Christians often also suffer discrimination when aid is being distributed.
Some other girls and women have managed to escape or have been rescued. As survivors of sexual violence and abuse, their stories are full of horror. Many are now HIV+ and pregnant. These women require high quality long term care including counselling, safety and healthcare.
Unfortunately many returning women and girls are severely isolated, marginalised, rejected and detested by both their communities. There have been reports that some young women do not want to return home out of love of new husbands, fear of exclusion or even brain-washing. The situation is incredibly complex.
How can we still raise #hopeforgirls?
This is a devastating injustice. Many people feel that there is no hope left for the Chibok girls and the many others who have been kidnapped. The global media is largely silent as it has shifted its focus to other emergencies. Yet GB remains hopeful. Hope is not just a word; hope spurs us into action. Hope causes us to be so dissatisfied with the status quo that we’ll be the change that we want to see in the world. Girls’ Brigade is thankful for the many GB members and leaders around the world who have been campaigning for and praying with the Chibok girls and Nigeria. Please keep it up!
Here are a number of ways in which we can turn up the volume of hope for girls and women around the world.
Make a Card of Hope
GB is inviting you to participate in a collective positive action which will ensure that these girls are not forgotten by people in positions of influence. Making a Card of Hope as an individual, in your GB company or even as part of a church service is simple. Just download the resource pack and cards and then post/present it to a key person in influence.
Use Hope for Girls resource
This free resource written by GB 18-30s across the world explores social justice issues affecting girls like access to education, violence, forced marriage and self-worth. It would be perfect to use with teenage girls and young adults. Download resource here.
Raise hope through prayer
The situation in Nigeria is very complicated and it needs continual prayer. Please use the most recent prayer points here to pray decisively for the people of Nigeria who have been affected by Boko Haram’s violence, the government and the church. You can also use our special GB International prayer with your group.
Please remember if you are doing anything, let us know. We’d love to hear your stories and share your photos to encourage the rest of the GB family. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Free downloadable resources
Download our ##GBHopeEndures creative prayer activism (for IDG 2017)
Download our Prayer resource for 2017 (the third anniversary of the kidnapping)
Download our Prayer update – October 2016
Download our Prayer resource for 2016 (includes special GB International prayer)
Download our Cards of Hope pack
Download our Hope for Girls resource