The likes of Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama have been promoting the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to draw attention to the horrific kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. The girls aged 16 to 18 were taken from their high school more than 3 weeks ago by Islamist terror grop Boko Haram, and they still have not been found.
But hashtag activism isn't the only way - or even the best way - to make a difference. Here are the best ways you can genuinely help the stolen girls:
1. Sign the petition pressuring world leaders and international charities to help the Nigerian government search for the girls. The Change.org petition now has nearly three quarters of a million signatures. Help reach their goal of one million signers.
2. The Malala Fund has set up a special fundraising drive that will donate 100% of donations to Nigerian-based nonprofits that advocate for girls and women. Click here to donate.
3. Donate to the Safe Schools Fund, which was set up in response to the 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls and other kidnappings from schools worldwide. This fund is recommended by the major US charity Human Rights Watch.
4. UNICEF would like people to learn more about and donate to their project to End Trafficking, which helps prevent girls like those kidnapped from being sold into slavery.
6. Learn more about attacks on schools worldwide, particularly on schools that educate girls. The Global Coalition has documented documented these attacks at their website and created an interactive map. Watch their video here:
7. Unicef also says that using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag helps raise awareness of the kidnappings and can help to generate more media coverage, but that's only a starting point.
The hashtag #RealMenDontBuyGirls is also trending worldwide in conjunction with the Nigerian kidnappings. But be warned that the widely-shared picture of Sean Penn and Ashton Kutcher - below - was not originally linked to the Nigerian kidnapping awareness campaign.
8. Learn more about what happened in Nigeria. You might want to watch the video below, which shows footage of interviews with the girls' parents and from one girl who escaped from the terrorist kidnappers:
@The_JillyBeans if they know nothing will happen 2 them why should they stop.. muslims!!!! Are you serious !!!! Im sorry but when you have a religion that says it will kill you if you leave it & kill if you don't surrender to it... im sorry but I believe their is no hope for it.
Nigeria is ruled by the militant religious, and they don't respect human life. It's a sham of a democracy and neither UNICEF nor Michelle Obama is going to be able to stop the horrors happening in that god forsaken country. These hash tags and petitions aren't for the Nigerians but rather they are here for us, to make us feel less guilty. Smh
You nailed it, Gipper! The hash tags are for domestic consumption. Who actually believes the jihadist psychopaths running Boko Haram are subject to moral persuasion and public pressure? Perhaps only the most self-deluded liberals out there. We remember how the mullahs of Iran we supposed to melt in front of the "open hand" of the Anointed One. About the same time our "planet began to heal". Right. At the next presidential presser, we'll be asked to join hands in a chorus of "Kumbaya"
@WinstonSmith I migh tbe counted among the "deluded" liberals, but I agree with you entirely in you r sentiment. Nonetheless, I believe that the little Pakistani girl shot n by Muslim lunatics has more intestinal fortitude and general courage than a company of marines. I know it is difficult to not want take those murderous brute s off of the map , but then a lot of other murderous brute s have to be included, leading to horrific violence and slaughter. What does this action do for our civilization. i would much prefer our guys bring them back alive to serve life sentences in penitence under very strict, but humane setting. An od head hunter once said : "the rules are simple, you tribe take my family heads we go get one your heads - and then they shrunk them.
We're going to have to face a very ugly truth, and better sooner than later. We're probably not going to get those girls back, it would be nothing short of a miracle if we did. Nigeria is notorious for it's human rights violations. The extrajudicial killings, The slavery, rape, torture, excessive military force, to name a few. This is a country where you can be amputated for being a homosexual. Hell you can lose your hand for drinking alcohol in some parts of the Country.
But we think that sad faced Michelle Obama and a card board sign will soften the hearts of the Nigerians? I wish it was that is easy, I want that to happen. But people in hell want ice water....
@DogLady_1 where do you get that Americans are the largest buyers of slaves in the world? The only information I could find of "Americans" owning slaves were immigrants. These girls will most likely be sold as wives or sex slaves to other Africans.
@Yank - Human trafficking is a $32 billion/yr industry in this country... and international sex tourism is largely thriving because of American consumers.
Although I think these Nigerian students were most likely taken for brides (sex slaves) for the militants themselves, I thought it was necessary to point out that our own country is not so innocent when it comes to our tolerance of slavery and exploitation, especially of women and children.
Ahh yes, posting hashtags... while some people think this is completely and utterly useless, these people have actually put alot of thought into how they can do the least thing humanly possible and still make it appear that they care...
In their minds it is I guess... it helps inflate their ego and they can say "I helped"... I guess they think the terrorist will see their picture and say "you know what he/she is right, we shouldn't have done that... we're going to give those girls back, sorry everyone, we goofed"...
The fact that these girls taken were the ages of 16-18 has significance. These girls are far more educated than their captors. They do not want women and girls educated! Were they taken because they were reaching adulthood as educated young women, were they taken for procreation(for Boko Haram to raise the boys born to be brainwashed into Boko Haram's thinking and baby girls disposed of), or actually to be sold? I believe all three! Women are not lesser beings than men, but that is not what Boko Haram and other Islamic terrorist believe. Nigeria should have acted immediately! That they did not tells me their government believes the same. The next step for these girls would have been college education. Being far more educated would be an understatement then. Many of these men in these groups in Africa cannot even read their own language. These girls could not only read and write in their own language, they were fluent in English with barely an accent to differentiate them from Americans. So many young women graduating high school and moving on to college is unacceptable to Boko Haram. They could come back and become part of the government. At their peril, come back to better educate girls. Where is President Obama? His father was Nigerian. These are his people too. I don't mean seeing Michelle with a hashtag. Had his mother stayed with his father in Nigeria, these girls could be his daughters. I don't want to hear or see one more speech by Obama. We've heard and have seen him enough! All bark, no bite! Action needs to be taken! If he won't even stand up and act regarding these Nigerian girls, he is nothing but a coward! We all already know, we don't need celebrities holding up hashtags! I know they feel they are contributing, their not. They need to put their massive amounts of money where they held up hashtags! There are western mercenaries that can be hired to go after Boko Haram and hopefully free most of the young women. People may scoff at mercenaries, but even our own county hires them. Our military is paid. Mercenaries willing to go should also be paid. They're putting their lives on the line when hired. We cannot wait for our government to take any action, they won't. So I call on all of these extremely rich celebrities to put their money up, not their hashtags, and hire people to go in and find these girls and kill every Boko Haram fighter they encounter! I hope and pray any girl already sold can escape and that mercenaries will be hired to free the rest! Where will these celebrities stand when asked to put their money up instead of hashtags? Do the actually care? This would be a tremendous test as to where they really stand!
Perhaps the reason the rich celebs don't hire mercenaries is because it is highly illegal and they could end up in prison you dolt! The govt hires them because they have certain protections and means of disguising their actions but get real about regular Americans, even real rich Americans.
And c'mon Obama's father was Kenyan not Nigerian, EVERYBODY knows that.
Blow hard Hollywood types. Like radical Islamic slave traders who murder families of those searching for the girls care that you are holding sign in English. They are anti-western and would consider your support of the girls reason to continue kidnapping them. The only thing they will understand is overwhelming and deadly force.
It is a good article but only if you read the entire thing. Clearly that make Hillary look evil in the first half but they do have the decency to explain her position in the second half of the article.
I'm going to agree with the conservative talking heads, Obama has been outwardly weak on radical Islam. Now what happens in the shadows of the world, drone strikes, assassinations, aiding the enemies of my enemies, I don't know.
We know the number of drone strikes under Obama has increased dramatically. We know he invaded our sovereign ally to kill Osama. We know he has authorized the assassination of key figures. All well and good.
However his language needs to match his actions. Ft Hood was an act of treason that traitor should be tried for treason first; let the murder charges follow. This threat requires the aid of our allies and countries not so friendly with us. It requires strong leadership and as a leader myself, he does not possess the talent.
This is war and it has long been a tactic to use females in waging it, not just in Africa.
Since it is war and the so-called legitimate leader(s) of Nigeria asked the international community for help, specifically the USA, the door is open to enter Nigeria and help its government establish a better semblance of order for its people and those who do business there extracting natural resources. In exchange the USA will receive favorable rights for USA companies and their partners to have freer access to untold riches of oil and minerals.
No one would dare speak against the stated humanity effort to rescue these girls and keep other girls safe. It will take a massive involvement with great costs to U.S. taxpayers.
Why can't the corporations exploiting the land, who will reap trillions from a greater peace in Nigeria, pick up the tab for military efforts?