Caroline McLoughlin

Chibok, Nigeria- In April of 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. Fortunately, dozens have been released this past month, but there are still many others  missing.

Over the time from when the girls were first kidnapped to now, a total of 163 girls have made it home. Fifty seven girls manages to escape within the following days of the kidnaping. One escaped and was found in May of 2016, twenty one were released in October of 2016, one escaped and was found in November of 2016. Another was found in January, and then the eighty two were released in May of this year.

Although many of the girls have been able to get back to their families, there are still 113 girls yet to be found.

The girls were kidnapped by  an Islamist militant group that has been attacking the North-eastern parts of Nigeria since 2009. They had kidnapped other women before, but the kidnappings had not gathered much global attention.

Then on May 14th, of 2014, the militant group went to the secondary school, and kidnapped l the girls while they were sleeping in their dormitories. Many of the girls were from other villages in the surrounding areas were there to take exams at the Chibok school.

Boko Haram, the leader of the militant group, supplied the girls with food for some time. In the recent months, however, the government has started to properly supply the army, preventing Haram from getting food for the girls.

Eventually, things got better and food was provided for the girls, when it was realized that returning healthy and well fed hostages during the publicity of war was a sign of strength in the eyes of the kidnapper.

During these past years that the girls have been missing, there has been a social media movement that involved many famous people, including previous first lady, Michelle Obama. There has also been a gathering everyday for a year in a park, in the center of Abuja, where mostly parents and relatives gather to sing, speak, and grieve over the missing girls.

Sadly since the girls have been kidnapped, their school itself has been destroyed in an attack. And though the Nigerian government is working towards getting the girls back to their homes, there has not been much progress on the remaining 113, who are still being held captive with Boko Haram.

On account of the eighty two girls who were released this past month, Yakubu Nkeki, the chairperson of the Chibok Parents’ Association, recalls their homecoming.

“It was a wonderful day for Chibok citizens.”

As of now, however, there are still 113 girls missing and although the government is attempting to find a way to get the girls back home, no one knows how much longer that will take.